Springer Spaniel Winston named South Yorkshire Police's animal of the year

A Springer Spaniel who helped track down a million pounds worth of drugs during his career has been named South Yorkshire Police’s Animal of the Year.

PD Winston became a drug, cash and firearms detection dog in 2014, and after a brief retirement returned to the force recently when officers became short of trained dogs.

Winston recovered more than £700,000 of cocaine in one find and also sniffed out £150,000 hidden in a cellar.

The force asked people to vote in its Operational Support Awards in September, and Winston has been revealed as the worthy winner.

PC Lee Schofield and PD Winston celebrate their award win.

His handler PC Lee Schofield said: “Over the years Winston has clocked up numerous detections of weapons that have been used in serious offences as well a huge amount of drugs we have seized from organised crime.

“Every day he comes to work with a smile on his face ready to search and find, work is one big game to him and he does it all for a ball.

“Winston has been back in action for nearly a year now and for the foreseeable future he will continue to work, he’s great at his job.

“Some of his career highlights include recovering over £700,000 worth of cocaine in one find and several hundreds of thousands of pounds of cash including £150,000 that was hidden in a cellar and finding a firearms buried underground.

“In addition to this he has located shell casings and firearms for forensic opportunities in serious shootings and murder investigations.”

Winston and his handler PC Schofield were presented with their award by Operational Support Unit’s Superintendent Paul McCurry last week.

Supt McCurry said: “We recognise the efforts of our officers and reward them for going above and beyond in their roles, I think it is important that we also recognise the value that animals bring to policing.

“I am pleased to award PD Winston with his trophy today. Congratulations to not only PD Winston but also PC Schofield, who Winston takes his direction and command from, excellent teamwork.”

PC Scofield added: “It’s a pleasure to receive the award for Winston. Thank you to the public who voted.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.