Follow Sussex Police Media Centre

Police dog and handler claim national award at Crufts

News   •   Mar 12, 2019 12:48 GMT

A Sussex Police dog handler and his canine counterpart have been recognised for their heroics with a national award.

PC Tom Mills and PD Darcey, his German Shepherd, are the worthy winners of this year’s NPCC Police Dog Team Operational or Humanitarian Action of the Year award.

Above: PC Tom Mills and PD Darcey receiving their award at Crufts. Photo:

In October last year, South East Coast Ambulance Service required Sussex Police’s assistance, having been called by a man who had stated in no uncertain terms that he intended to take his own life in a local park in Brighton.

Deputy Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “Having been given the suspected location of the missing person, PC Mills was the first on the scene. On arrival of the area and with good local knowledge, PD Darcey was deployed to locate the man. Without delay, she ran straight towards a tree amongst the undergrowth where the man had already made an attempt to take his own life. First aid was quickly administered, with paramedics arriving on scene to assist.

“Had it not been for the swift actions of PC Mills and the quick location of the missing man by PD Darcey, allowing medical aid to be given very quickly, the outcome would almost certainly have been a loss of life. Instead, after a spell in an induced coma, the man went on to make a full recovery.

“This shows the true value that our operational dogs – supported by their handlers, the schools and the kennels behind them – bring to Surrey and Sussex on a daily basis.

“This national recognition is a source of great pride to us all and is a real credit to both PC Mills and PD Darcey for the life they saved. A huge well done.”

The award was presented at Crufts on Sunday (10 March) and was televised on Channel 4.

Author: Sam Satchell
Ref: SXP54342/2019


Please note PC Tom Mills is not prepared to do interviews with the media at this time.

IMAGE LICENSING NOTE: The image(s) provided remain(s) the property of Sussex Police or to a third party who has agreed to its/their release.

It/they is/are provided for the explicit purpose of journalistic coverage and commentary, in the public interest, in relation to the featured event.

You are granted limited licence to use the material for this purpose for 90 days from the date it is provided. You may also re-distribute it for this purpose at zero cost to the receiver, provided it is clearly marked as belonging to Sussex Police and this notice remains.

You may include our material as part of a wider package of journalistic content that is paid for by the receiver – for example a court report or feature article – provided that the material owned by Sussex Police is clearly marked as such, this notice remains and our material is supplemented by content of additional value produced by you.

Re-distribution of this material for profit in breach of the terms above, use for any purpose other than that expressed above or archiving of this material for future use is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Sussex Police.

Requests for use outside of these terms should be sent to