Two of Yorkshire's top sleuths drafted in to join search

19 August 2004
Yorkshire Post
Lyn Barton

Two expert sniffer dogs from South Yorkshire have been helping the recovery effort at flood-devastated Boscastle in Cornwall.

Eddie and Frankie - canine sleuths who have already played a major part in many high-profile murder probes - were drafted in to help make sure there are no bodies trapped under the rubble.

Yesterday their handlers, South Yorkshire Police officers PC Martin Grime and PC John Ellis, told the Yorkshire Post how the dogs had conducted a sweep search through the village.

As he gazed around Boscastle, PC Grime said: "The scene is one of complete devastation. There are at least 20 cars in the channel and 16 under a sandbank.

"We were called in by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and we got to Boscastle around midnight on Tuesday and started searching first thing the following morning.

"We searched the cars washed down into the harbour and fortunately we did not find anything, which is good on this occasion. But the weather down there has been absolutely atrocious."

Chief Supt Dave Ellis, in charge of the Devon and Cornwall Police operation in Boscastle, said the sniffer dogs had been sent in as a precaution.

"There was no reason to feel we have got anybody that is missing."

He added that the emergency services were trying to "move forward" the issue of local people being able to return to their homes.

"But we have got to do it with safety in mind," he said.

The two dogs, who cost £1,000 a day to hire from the South Yorkshire police force, were used earlier this year in the hunt for missing north Devon teenager Charlotte Pinkney and Bradford-born student Shafilea Ahmed, 17, who went missing from her home in Warrington last September.

Their expert services were also called on by the FBI, but the two dogs were too busy to respond.

Devon and Cornwall Police spokeswoman PC Sharon Newman said an air-exclusion zone was maintained over Boscastle because the noise distracted the dogs in their work.

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