Police dog finds missing mum and baby on first shift

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Max and his handler PC Peter LloydImage source, Dyfed-Powys Police
Image caption,
Max’s new job involves tracking and locating people and detaining suspects

A police dog found a missing mother and toddler on his first operational shift.

Newly-licensed Dyfed-Powys Police dog Max discovered the pair on the edge of a ravine in a remote part of Powys on Saturday.

The mother and her one-year-old had not been seen for two days and had spent the night outdoors.

Led by the two-year-old German Shepherd cross who joined the force in February, handler PC Peter Lloyd spotted the woman waving for help at 13:30 BST.

They were helped down and checked over by a mountain rescue doctor and the ambulance service.

Insp Jonathan Rees-Jones said: "The woman had not been seen or spoken to for two days, which was out of character, and her phone wasn't working, so naturally concern for her safety was high."

He said the woman's car had been found on a mountain road which gave officers a location to search from, but there was still "a vast area to cover given the amount of time she had been missing".

"Despite only recently becoming licensed, and on his first operational shift, he immediately commenced an open area search," he said.

After an hour-and-a-half of searching involving Brecon Mountain Rescue Team, a National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter and a search expert, the mother and baby were found.

'Safe but cold'

"They were safe, but cold, and appeared to have been in the area for a significant amount of time," he said.

"I must give a special mention to PC Pete Lloyd and Max, who on their very first day since completing their training together covered a significant amount of mileage in the search, eventually locating them safe."

PC Lloyd said he was "really pleased", adding: "Max remained focussed throughout the long search and he proved invaluable."