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With the Libya crisis now a major news event security experts particularly in the field of Air freight security may be worried about further use of PETN.  The lethal chemical compound PETN used by al-Qaida, is detectable by state-of-the-art airport scanners, however it’s a complex and costly procedure.

Remember the printer bomb that was not detected during an initial examination of a UPS package at East Midlands airport last year which turned out to be a viable bomb?  The explosive contained in the device was found as the result of a tip off and was not picked up by initial screening.The old debate of sniffer dogs versus electronic explosive detection may once again be a much discussed topic, but time critical logistics such as air freight will surely benefit from highly experienced, trained and vetted explosive detection dog teams from RFA Security.

In an attempt to assuage fears over the state of air cargo security, the Freight Transport Association said that every piece of cargo undergoes a form of security before it flies in the UK, from x-ray scanning to sniffer dog inspection and hand searches.

The need for qualified explosive detection teams will be in high demand and RFA Security has the expertise and capability to assist with all security protocols.  Back to the old debate, even the penatgon agrees that dogs are best!


A recent BBC article stated that Police forces across the UK have paid out a total of £770,000 in compensation to people bitten by police dogs in the past three years include one payout of almost £49,000.00

Everyone in the security dog and Police dog world understands that dogs are an essential resource.  However information obtained through Freedom of Information requests; show that forty-three forces provided a breakdown of their figures by the type of person bitten. Between them, 2,725 suspects were bitten, along with 196 police staff and 155 other members of the public.

Eight police forces reported more than 100 dog bites over the last three years. You can read the main story on the BBC and I wonder if there are statistics for collating such information relating to incidents with Security Dogs.


Sniffer Dogs are Best

After spending $19 Billion dollars, the US Military still say that “Dogs are the best detectors”.

The above quote formed part the most interesting article I have seen recently. It originated from a news conference given by Lieutenant General Michael Oates, Commanding Officer of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organisation, (JIEDDO), on the 20th October last year. The organisation he commands has spent, since 2004, $18.77 billion and concluded that at present, a well-trained K9 is still the best way to detect explosive devices. Well, having been a “dog” person for most of my life, this conclusion was not a surprise!

JIEDDO has spent a shed load of money on technology to replace or replicate the K9 nose and in some ways has been successful. Although it does depend on what you might conceive as being successful. Electronic hand-held devices, (the ones that do actually have electronics in), are available from a number of reputable companies and have the ability to identify explosive vapours. They are portable, mostly easy to use and can be a very useful tool. The negative aspects to these devices are cost, climatic conditions, (some devices can only operate within certain temperature ranges), purging or cleaning the device to ensure a clean reuse, training and susceptibility to user or operational stress and damage.

A Sniffer Dog on the other hand, can operate in almost any temperature, does not cost the earth, does not need batteries or a mains electrical supply, does not break down, does not need purging before its next search, can get to places that the operator of an electronic device cannot and provides a visible deterrent. One of the problems associated with electronic devices are their inability to differentiate competing vapours.

Tony Foster

Sniffer Dog in action

Top explosive detection dog in action

Well it was bound to happen, we couldn’t avoid it any longer, we really do need to Blog about these sniffer dogs.  You see tucked away in Buckinghamshire is one of the UK’s leading provider of explosive detection dogs, yet its probably one of the best kept secrets in the security industry, or rather it was until now!  Of course as clever as these K9 sweepers are they can’t really blog, so the Team at RFA Security will make a concerted effort to bring you the latest updates from our business, industry news and general info about the world of Explosive Detection.  We need to finish off tweaking our new Blog behind the scenes so don’t forget to sign up and keep up to date with RFA.