The Australian Federal Police is using specially-trained ‘technology detection dogs’ to sniff out USB drives, SIMs and devices when executing search warrants or examining crime scenes.
The agency said in social media posts that the capability was “a first for Australian law enforcement”.
“Given their size, you can imagine how easily [USBs and SIMs] can be hidden from police to conceal evidence,” the AFP said.
“Since 2019, our three AFP technology detection dogs have located more than 120 devices during search warrants.
“Over the next three years, at least 12 more dogs will be trained and deployed across the country.”
The police said the dogs would boost its ability to “collect vital digital evidence” and bring to justice those who commit crimes.
A video posted online shows a dog positively identifying a stick vacuum cleaner as the source of a hidden iPhone handset.
Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said on Twitter yesterday afternoon that the program is the beneficiary of a $5.7 million budget boost.