Opinion: Barking police officer

POSTED: 02/12/13 12:10 PM

We don’t know exactly how many police officers chased the guy who stabbed a tourist on Friday evening and stole her car. What we do know is that the man who combined robbing, stealing and joy-riding into a new art form escaped. And that while his run from the police ended with a frontal collision on the Kruythoff roundabout.

Why were our officers incapable of catching the bad guy? Were they not fast enough? Or was the criminal simply out of their league in terms of speed?

Officers fired shots, and they even called in the K-9 unit. Even the dogs were unable to find their man. That is remarkable. We thought all those dogs have to do is sniffing the crashed car to pick up a scent and bingo: they run straight to their target.

Apparently it does not work that way. Are there alternatives? You bet. Take this story from the Netherlands where a 47-year-old man stole a bicycle while the police were on his heels. Shortly afterwards officers found the bicycle but the thief was nowhere to be seen.

No shots were fired, no dogs were brought in, and still the officers got their man. How? First their summoned the man to come out of hiding and when that did not work, they threatened to let a police dog loose on him.

And when that did not work, one of the officers produced a near perfect imitation of a barking dog. That did the trick, and the thief is now in custody.


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