West Midlands Police dog wins bravery award after risking life in police chase

West Midlands Police duo Police Dog Stark and PC Paul Hopley Credit: Thin Blue Paw

West Midands Police dog Stark has been praised for his paw-some work during a police chase last year.

There are approximately 1,500 serving police dogs working across the UK

The winners of the inaugural Thin Blue Paw Awards have been announced, which celebrate the remarkable work and achievements of serving and retired police dogs across the United Kingdom.

Bravey awards were given for efforts including saving a man from suicide and overcoming a machete-wielding attacker.

West Midlands Police dog Stark has been recognised for his outstanding bravery.

West Midlands Police dog Stark and Pc Paul Hopley received the Outstanding Bravery award for overcoming a machete-wielding attacker following reports of attempted break-ins at a Staffordshire allotment.

They responded to calls in the early hours of December 14 last year, when the suspect struck Stark at least 20 times with a machete – leaving him with deep lacerations on his head and covered in blood.

The four-year-old black German shepherd-Belgian malinois cross still managed to drag the attacker away as Pc Hopley subdued him with an aerosol similar to pepper spray.

Stark needed emergency treatment and stitches before he bravely returned to his duties four weeks later.

Leicestershire Police officer of 22 years Darren Sewell received the Special Recognition award after caring for police dogs Jura and Gilly while helping train puppies for neighbouring forces.

Pc Colin Nash and two-year-old labrador Elvis Credit: Penny Bird/Thin Blue Paw Awards/PA

The dog handler and firearms support handler of 16 years was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma in 2020, and has been undergoing chemotherapy while continuing to care for his pack.

There are approximately 1,500 serving police dogs working across the UK and, every day, they put their lives on the line alongside their handlers to help fight crime, save lives and keep the public safe.

West Midlands Police say,