A NEW canine detective is taking a bite out of crime.

Police Dog Lewis, an 18-month-old German shepherd, is PC Andy Dunkling’s new partner.

At Christmas we reported how PC Dunkling’s former canine colleague, PD Dutch, was retiring to enjoy a rest at his best friend and handler’s home after years of service.

Protecting the public and terrifying criminals was all in a day’s work for him.

Now it is his replacement, PD Lewis, who is giving Sussex’s baddies paws for thought.

PC Dunkling, who is based in Lewes, said: “He is quality.

“His characteristics are completely different.

“Tracking wise, he’s outstanding we’ve had five successes since he’s been out.”

PD Lewis took to the streets last month and is already teaching criminals they can run, but not hide.

He is a general purpose police dog trained in tracking, searching, chasing, detaining and property recovery.

He showed his skills when police were called to a house alarm going off in Malthouse Road, in Southgate, late one Friday night last month.

Two men were seen in the front garden of the property and were later spotted running down an alleyway.

PC Dunkling and PD Lewis, tracked the suspects’ scent to nearby Southgate Drive, where they were stopped and arrested.

They were found to be carrying knives.

The men, Pavel Iwaniuk, 37, a maintenance engineer, of Southgate Drive, Crawley, and Lucas Rudieczko, 33, a factory worker, of Broomdashers Road, Crawley, were each sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

The knives were seized and destroyed.

Meanwhile, PD Dutch is enjoying his hard-earned retirement.

PC Dunkling said: “Dutch is absolutely loving retirement and has taken to it like a duck to water.

“Has even kicked me off my place on the sofa.

“He’s almost become my wife’s dog now.

“She’s settled into the routine with him and feeds and walks him.

“When I go to work he goes to the window and watched me leave.

“It’s heartbreaking.

“But then he is straight back on the sofa.”