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Barking! West Midlands Police dog Peach's woof justice

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A police dog 'wrote' a witness statement after prosecution officials repeatedly demanded it provide evidence for a court case.

The West Midlands Police dog, called Peach, was asked by Crown Prosecution Service staff to recount details of an arrest where it assisted.

But a police officer who decided to reply as a joke has now found himself under investigation for his actions. The officer has referred himself to the West Midlands Police's professional standards department.

A picture of the statement, circulated on Twitter, reads: "I chase him. I bite him. He tasty. Good boy. Good boy Peach."

It stated that the age of the "witness" was four and that his number was PD4341.

The document was pinned to the wall of a dog training centre in Balsall Common, Birmingham, and a picture of it soon appeared on social networking websites. The image was later deleted but the dog section of a different force, West Yorkshire, enjoyed it so much they posted the image on Twitter in a tweet that was shared more than 150 times.

Detective Chief Inspector Julian Harper said: "The professional standards department is looking into this. Early inquiries suggest it is a light-hearted exchange as a result of a misunderstanding around a police dog and a police officer. The matter will be investigated."

Ian Edwards, chairman of the West Midlands branch of the Police Federation, said: "It's a difficult time for police and sometimes humour is a way of venting frustrations. I would urge our PSD to be even-handed in the way they deal with it."

Last year, new guidelines on the use of Twitter were issued by the force.

It meant that any account set up by an officer wanting to tweet in a professional capacity had to have it approved by the force's communications team. The guidelines warned that any breaches of the policy could lead to disciplinary action from the Deputy Chief Constable.

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