Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dog sniffs mobile phones - The Daily McCrumble

The BBC news website has recently updated / recycled a story that a dog in the UK has been trained to sniff out mobile phones, so that prisoners can no longer make illicit calls to the outside world and arrange their next job (and I'm not referring to anything that requires a national insurance number here). At first I assumed this was an April fool, but some research made me see that original story first appeared in the Times (Sept 06). Depending on your point of view, this is either the future of contraband detection, or a dead duck with a shelf life shorter than the attention span of a chav at a classical music concert. What would it take, you think, to fool the dog? I'm no expert, but I think that the smell associated with mobile phones is probably quite easily masked by being rubbed with prisoners underpants, socks or aftershave. Your average criminal, I suspect, cares not what their phone smells like, but would not like their stash to be tainted in the same way. I don't want to give inmates of any HMP ideas with my solution to their snooper-dogg-dog problem, but do suggest that now the story is in the public domain, prison chiefs think again about relying on a springer spaniel with a phone-fetish to lead their effort against the contraband menace.

**** UPDATE *****
It appears my idea has, unfortunately, been independently adopted by criminals in Cumbria. One police force is already trialling a dog to sniff out contraband cheese after an upsurge in complaints from local prison officers that a large number of prisoner's cells smelt like ripe Stilton.



hazel love said...

I have been sniffing and sniffing at my mobile phone for most of this afternoon, and as yet, can find no discernable aroma.

There is, however, an undetectable source of a smell of must and decay in the other office area which has not been eradicated by a robust cleaning session.

Perhaps they should train a dog to sniff out mushrooms or other fungal growth. But then that just brings us back to the prisoners armpits again...

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

My phone smells of whatever flavour half-eaten sticky lollipop either one of my daughters has seen fit to put in my bag "to eat later." I have lost perfectly good legal tender this way too.

I can't find your other blog! I clicked but got a not found message.

I admire your determination to post every day. It's beyond me.

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Hazel - I think pigs would be better for sniffing out mushrooms.

Sam - I abandoned the other blog after just one day on the advice of Kim Ayres. I'll remove the link.