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Brighton Journal | 23rd January 2020

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Heroic police dog celebrated by Sussex Police in Lewes

Heroic police dog celebrated by Sussex Police in Lewes
Elizabeth Richardson

Sussex Police celebrated their policing hero – police dog Finn – at their headquarters in Lewes yesterday following the passing of Finn’s Law. Finn and his owner, PC Dave Wardell, attended the celebration, receiving an engraved collar and certificate of recognition from Chief Constable Giles York.

The celebration commemorated the entirety of the Sussex Police dog unit, recognising the heroic lengths these animals and their handlers go to.

Finn was trained by the Sussex and Surrey police dog unit, and was subject to a brutal stabbing whilst protecting PC Wardell in Hertfordshire back in 2016.

Finn suffered for near-fatal wounds from the attack, yet, as the law then stood, the offence was only classified as criminal damage.

The new law, named after Finn himself, prevents those who harm service animals for claiming defence and is now seen as a criminal offence.

PC Dave explained:

It has been an extremely emotional two or three years since Finn was seriously injured. Finn was kicked and punched throughout his career and nothing ever happened, which I think is wrong.

If we’re going to use these animals, and I believe we should as they are phenomenal at what they do, we need to make sure that we have every available protection to them and this law that has been approved does just that.

Finn and PC Dave Wardell, Facebook © Fabulous Finn

Chief Constable Giles York said:

It is an absolute privilege to have Finn and Dave his dog handler here and I am delighted to be the first police force to welcome the pair at a recognition ceremony.

The work that has been put in to quite literally change the law allows our working dogs to be recognised in a completely different way.

Violet Hancock, High Sheriff of East Sussex, added:

I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a law before and well done to everyone who played a part in getting this law passed.

Finn has now retired from the police force, and has since stolen the nation’s hearts by appearing on Britain’s Got Talent this year. PC Dave showcased Finn’s wealth of talent on national television, moving even Simon Cowell to tears with his tale of courage and bravery. The inseparable pair made it to the 2019 final.


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