Meet Nansi, North Wales Police’s first community engagement and welfare dog

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A NEW four-legged recruit has joined the North Wales Police family to help build relationships in the community and also support officers and staff as a welfare dog.

11-week-old Cockapoo pup, Nansi, will put her best paw forward as part of a pilot in the western area of ​​the force.

Nansi joined the team through the national welfare program Oskar Kilo 9 as a welfare dog.

The Oscar Kilo Wellbeing and Trauma Support Dogs service aims to make welfare dogs available to all police forces who wish to introduce a dog as part of their welfare provision. The service currently has representatives from several UK police forces and fire and rescue services, where welfare dogs are introduced after officers have faced traumatic or stressful circumstances or in the part of a debriefing process.

Sergeant Non Edwards, who runs the pilot scheme for North Wales Police, said: ‘Nansi is the premier welfare and community engagement dog for North Wales Police and she will do part of a 12-month pilot program also focusing on officer and staff welfare. as part of our community engagement strategy to help break down barriers with hard to reach communities.

“Police and staff do demanding and sometimes dangerous work and in many roles are frequently exposed to trauma. There is plenty of evidence proving the physical benefits of having a dog, but emerging research clearly shows the many ways dogs can support mental health by creating a sense of calm, improving daily emotional and psychological stress. and helping people cope with the impact of a traumatic event.

“A lot of work and training has been done with the Oskar Kilo 9 National Welfare Team to ensure we have the right arrangements in place to introduce a welfare dog into the workplace. We are extremely fortunate to have wonderful sponsors who have given their time, services and funding and who will help us train and support Nansi throughout her career. We would like to thank Pets at Home in Bangor, Idris Morris in Llanddeiniolen, Caernarfon, Trainer – Mr Geraint Strello and Cibyn Vets in Caernarfon. There will be no cost to the taxpayer.

“Nansi has already had a very warm welcome at some of our police stations and I can’t wait to see her develop and have her on our neighborhood policing team in Caernarfon and Bangor where she will be out on patrol regularly with us and are part of our community engagement events.

The program has the full support of Chief Constable Carl Foulkes. He said: “Wellbeing is extremely important in the workplace and particularly after the challenges of Covid-19.

“We all know that policing has both physical and psychological impact when we regularly see and treat injuries and trauma. In recent years, police forces across the country have recognized the value of dogs in helping officers and staff ensure their well-being.

“It is hoped that the introduction of Nansi to the team will result in better support for officers and staff leading to less illness through early intervention and support. I am sure it will have an impact positive on everyone around her, she is a delight and we are so proud to be part of this worthy initiative.

Mark Jones, General Secretary and Treasurer of the Police Federation of North Wales, said: ‘It’s hugely important that people feel they can talk about their mental health, especially in a job that presents people with difficult and traumatic situations such as the police.

“Nansi will be able to offer a little relief from the often difficult work of officers, and anything that makes people feel positive and gets them talking should be encouraged.”

A review at the end of the 12-month pilot project will be conducted to confirm next steps for a force-wide welfare dog provision. However, it is safe to say that Nansi is and will continue to be a permanent and important part of the North Wales squad police.

More information about the Oskar Kilo Wellbeing and Trauma Support Dogs initiative is available via OK9 Wellbeing and Trauma Support Dogs • Oscar Kilo

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