Dog Death Cop Flees Post In 'Suicide Bid'

Dog Death Cop Flees Post In 'Suicide Bid'

An officer responsible for allowing two police dogs to die in a sweltering car fled his post and suffered a hand injury in what is claimed to be a suicide bid.

It emerged that the officer disappeared less than 90 minutes after the dogs were found collapsed in his unventilated car at a training facility at Keston in Kent.

"On Sunday 26 June at approximately 12.25 police were alerted to a police officer suddenly leaving his duty posting, causing concern for the officer's safety and welfare," a Scotland Yard spokesman told Sky News.

"The officer was treated as a missing person and a search began, eventually locating him in Newham borough suffering a hand injury.

"He was taken to an east London hospital as a precaution. He is currently receiving medical treatment."

According to The Sun newspaper, the Metropolitan Police officer is believed to be the dogs' handler, Sergeant Ian Craven.

Staff at the centre had been alerted at about 11am on Sunday that the dogs, a working Belgian Malinois and a German Shepherd pup, had passed out in the car.

Both animals were rushed to an emergency veterinarian service but they subsequently died.

The Directorate of Professional Standards has launched a probe into the circumstances of the incident, which took place as temperatures soared to as high as 29C in the South East.

The Sun said the officer had left the dogs in the vehicle and went off to a meeting at the Olympic site near Stratford, apparently forgetting about the animals.

It said he later leapt from a colleague's car while it was travelling at about 30mph after accepting a lift back to the Kent training facility after being informed of the incident.

A missing person alert was issued and the officer, who has served 30 years with the service, was later found in a distressed state.

A source told the paper: "He appeared to have slashed his wrist in an apparent attempt to kill himself."

It claimed that Sgt Craven, 49, was officially disciplined several years ago after previous dog he was responsible for died from overheating in a car.

Police forces across the country are aware of the danger of working dogs dying in sweltering temperatures.

Dog handler Pc Mark Johnson was handed a six-month conditional discharge after he was found guilty of animal cruelty in relation to the deaths of the two dogs in Nottinghamshire.

During his trial in February last year, Nottingham Magistrates' Court was told he suffered from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, which led to him forgetting that he had left the dogs in his car outside Nottinghamshire Police's Sherwood Lodge headquarters as temperatures reached 29.3C.