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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has used £3,000 seized from criminals to help buy West Midlands Police’s first wellbeing dog.

‘Truffles’, was named by the public through a vote on Twitter.

Truffles will be used to support the wellbeing of communities in the West Midlands, by providing emotional support following traumatic incidents and visiting schools and local groups to help the police better connect with people.

The dog will break down barriers with children and young people and build trusting relationships with them so police can intervene if they think someone is on the verge of criminal activity.   

The addition of Truffles provides support with a range of issues such as anti-social behaviour, animal mistreatment and emotional distress.

The money used by the PCC has been seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act. It can’t be used on police officer wages.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “I am thrilled that I have been able to help.

“Finding new ways of engaging with vulnerable people in our community is imperative for building trust and confidence, and preventing at-risk people getting involved in criminal behaviour.

“I look forward to seeing Truffles interacting with people and helping to break down barriers”.

Dudley Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Kim Madill said: “As we’ve seen in the current climate dogs are an amazing emotional support system. They have a calming influence and people are noticeably more relaxed and comfortable in their presence.

“We hope that Truffles will encourage, empower and enable people to open up, engage and speak about things that are worrying them particularly in the case of challenging and traumatic situations.

“She has an important job ahead in supporting vulnerable people and younger members of the community. We have an important job too in making sure that she’s happy, healthy and thriving in her new role. We’re sure that she’ll enjoy it, and can’t wait to see her in action!”

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