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Derbyshire’s Crimefighting Duo win national highly commended award.

Derbyshire’s ‘formidable’ crimefighting team, consists of Dog Handler PC Andy Bailey, cash and drugs detection dog PD Tilly and general purpose dog PD Riley.

The Thin Blue Paw Foundation, a national dog welfare charity that celebrates and supports working and retired police dogs across the UK, held their inaugural Thin Blue Paw Awards ceremony on Thursday evening.

At the awards, PC Andy Bailey and PD Tilly and Riley received a ‘Highly Commended’ certificate in the Crimefighting Duo category.

Andy has worked with the force since 2005, and has spent the last nine years with PD Tilly by his side. Labrador PD Tilly, was originally a Dog’s Trust rescue dog, that was consistently overlooked by adopters until she was taken on by the force. Throughout her career, she’s found tens of thousands of pounds in cash and approximately £25,000 in drugs. A great recent achievement being, the discovery of £40,000 in cash and drugs hidden behind a false wall. Part of this great team, is also general purpose dog, German Shepherd PD Riley, who has successfully located missing persons and chased and detained many suspects.

Sergeants Donna Abbott and Lee Parkin, who made the nomination said “PC Andy Bailey is the epitome of humility and will often underplay his successes when praise and credit is due. He is professional to the core and, even with his impending retirement looming, is still one of the most proactive and effective handlers in Derbyshire Police. Everyone knows him, everyone likes him and he is always there when you need him.

“I could list the arrests, the money, drugs and property, found by this crime fighting duo, but it isn’t just that; it’s also about the other side where Andy has spent time alongside both dogs on the sofa in his own house, when the fireworks are frightening them, putting up with the little quirks each dog has and turning out for the love of the job and not the glory of the results.”

Winner PC Andrew Bailey, said: “When I saw the email addressed to me several weeks ago, I just thought it was another survey to complete. As I began to read into the text I started to get quite emotional from the contents of what my supervisors, Lee Parkin and Donna Abbott, had written about me.

“I questioned them as to why I had been nominated and their reply was extremely heart-warming. So, to be nominated was fabulous – but to receive an award was amazing.

“Well, it’s the dog’s award really, Tilly and Riley. Best duo, I’m just the chauffeur.

“The evening was amazing and the winner’s stories were outstanding and also emotional. The evening went well and was sponsored and organised by the Thin Blue Paw, along with associated society’s, including pet food and insurance providers.

“Joined by the Chief Constable Rachel Swann, it was one of the highlights of my 29 years in the police.

“Dawn, my partner, is a great support and we’d like to thank everyone for the kind words we (and the dogs) have received.

“The dogs were awarded a wonderful certificate, food goodies and toys – along with something to keep them well into their retirements next year, when we will all retire together.

“However, my greatest achievement on the night was squeezing myself into my 1997 Tunic. It had clearly shrunk throughout the years ?”

The Crimefighting team are due to retire together in 2022. We want to take this opportunity to say well done on your award and thank you for the amazing service you have provided in keeping Derbyshire safe.

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