‘Porn dogs’ hound pe­dophiles

The Weekend Australian - - THE NATION -

Their tech­ni­cal name is “elec­tronic-de­tec­tion foren­sic K-9” but the US po­lice forces test­ing them have a dif­fer­ent name: porn dogs.

Labradors are be­ing used to “sniff out” pe­dophiles af­ter be­ing trained to de­tect the smell of elec­tronic com­po­nents such as flash cards and hard drives. The hope is if tri­als prove suc­cess­ful, they will be used to find hid­den stashes of child abuse im­ages.

Delaware County in the US yes­ter­day un­veiled Char­lie, one of two dozen such dogs in the US. Their train­ing is sim­i­lar to that of drug snif­fer dogs but in some ways more rig­or­ous. In a world dom­i­nated by elec­tronic gad­gets, the dogs have to be taught to ig­nore alarm clocks and re­mote con­trols, while still seek­ing out USB drives and CD-ROMs.

One dog has al­ready helped to se­cure a con­vic­tion, in which a for­mer spokesman for the res­tau­rant chain Sub­way was sent to prison for 15 years.

“As tech­nol­ogy ad­vances, de­vices be­come smaller and smaller, and crim­i­nals are bet­ter able to hide the el­e­ments of their crime,” said Mar­lon Miller, a spe­cial agent.

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