1. ITV Report

Retired handler's mission to build national police dog memorial in Essex

Essex is to become the home of a national memorial for police dogs - thanks to a campaign led by a former Chelmsford officer.

Retired PC Paul Nicholls launched the K9 Memorial Fund after his first canine partner, Sabre, had to be put down in 2006.

Now he's trying to raise £60,000 so that the national memorial can be built at Oaklands Park in Chelmsford.

It already has planning permission and sculptor John Doubleday has been commissioned to create the piece.

A maquette of the final design for the memorial. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Mr Nicholls, from Colchester, was awarded the Queens Police Medal in the 2017 birthday honours for his work as a dog handler.

He got a plaque installed at Essex Police headquarters but now he wants national recognition for service dogs.

"It's for us to show that we do care about the dogs. Dogs are being shot, stabbed and run over and there's just nowhere to remember that service and recognise the fact that they're looking after us and keeping us safe."

– Paul Nicholls