15 May 2024

A North Wales Police officer has spoken of one of the worst dog attacks he has seen in his career, when 22 sheep carrying lambs were killed, and another 48 injured.

The attack by two XL Bully dogs on a farm near Wrexham was caught on the officers' body cameras while they were filming the latest series of Y Llinell Las for S4C.

According to Iwan Owen, a member of the Rural Crime Team who has over 40 years of experience with the Police, attacks on sheep occur weekly in north Wales.

The farmer in this case lost around £14,000 worth of animals in the attack.

The first episode of the new series Y Llinell Las starts on S4C at 21:00 on Tuesday 14 May and will also be available on S4C Clic and BBC iPlayer.

As so much of the north Wales landscape is agricultural land, the Police have a team that specifically investigate rural crime.

The programme follows the unit as they respond to two incidents of XL Bully dog attacks on sheep.

Iwan said:

"I'm sure the traffic gang are fed up with people who drink and drive. Well, for us, it's the sheep attacks that happen over and over."

"Why the hell would someone want an XL Bully? I don't understand why would you want a dog of like that in a home. Think how strong they are, how much damage they can do - it's life-threatening."

"Farmers are tough guys - they're used to dogs and getting hold of them, but you wouldn't get hold of an XL Bully. There's not much of a chance for you to walk away without being terribly injured."

But dogs are also an essential part of the police's work.

PC Siôn Parry has been an officer with North Wales Police for over 15 years and working for the Dog Unit has been an ambition in his career.

Siôn said:

"I always compare a dog to ten policemen. Sometimes more. People want to fight with policemen, nobody wants to fight with a dog.

"If you go to someone and tell them to leave and there's a dog salivating and barking - if you're smart, you leave."

In this episode, we follow Siôn as he responds to events where a dog can be useful. In particular, helping the police identify criminals who stole a car and ran away after jumping out of the vehicle.

"It's a pleasure to watch them work...I'm not the one who does the work - the two dogs are the clever ones, I'm just the chauffeur!"

As well as the Rural Crime Team and the Dog Unit, the 6 episode series has had access to the challenging work of the Traffic Unit, the Collision Investigation Unit and the Control Room in St Asaph.

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