A FORMER school site is being used to put some of Dorset Police's latest recruits through their paces.

Throughout the lockdown the old Wimborne First School has been used to train police dogs for the county force.

Two types of training have been taking place at the school, the first being for general purpose police dogs such as German Shepherds and German Shepherd/Malinois crosses.

These will be used to search for people and property.

The second type of schooling involves spaniels and labradors, which are being trained to locate substances or objects of interest to police.

Dorset Council put up the school site in School Lane, Wimborne, after the former school moved to Campanula Way as part of a new housing development.

Police Inspector Neil Leat, of the Dorset Police dog section, said: “The Dorset Police Dogs Team is really grateful to Dorset Council for the use of the old Wimborne First School building.

"It is instrumental in allowing us to improve and maintain the standards of all our police dogs.

“We are constantly on the lookout for venues to train our dogs and would be glad to hear from anyone else who would consider letting us use their vacant property.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Tony Ferrari, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for economic growth, assets and property said: “I’m really happy that Dorset Police are able to use the old school and put it to good use over the lockdown period as a training venue for their dogs.

"Any support that we can offer the emergency services during this time is important as we all continue to observe government guidance and stay at home."

The future of the old Wimborne First School site is yet to be determined.