WILTSHIRE Police Dog Conan helped track one of three suspects near Erlestoke Prison in the early hours of this morning.

The 30-year-old man was tracked down in local woods following reports that items were being thrown into the grounds of Erlestoke Prison.

Police Dog Conan and his handler detained the suspect after a brief search of a nearby wooded area.

He was arrested by colleagues from Wiltshire Police’s armed response unit on suspicion of conveyance of prohibited articles into the prison.

A vehicle believed to have transported the suspect the location was stopped by the Community Policing Team in Salisbury.

A 30-year-old man and 31-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of conveyance of prohibited articles into prison. The man was also arrested on suspicion of drug-driving.

Sgt Paul Harvey said: “These arrests came about as a result of an effective and coordinated response by my colleagues, including PD Conan and his handler who tracked the initial suspect under challenging circumstances.

“Officers worked together seamlessly in response to the initial call and we are pleased to have arrested and detained three suspects in relation to this incident.”

Meanwhile, a serving police dog died on duty at the weekend

following a lengthy illness.

Chiko, a seven-year-old German Shepherd, joined Wiltshire Police in January 2015. He had suffered bowel conditions and a chronic progressive inflammatory disease.

Thanks to specialist medical support and careful handling, he was able to continue doing the police work he loved and there was a plan in place for him to retire this June. Unfortunately his condition deteriorated and he died at the weekend.

His handler PC Sam Dutton paid tribute to his service and his love of police work.

She said: "PD Chiko was a huge part of the police family and our own family.

"He had some health issues which Wiltshire Police fully supported him in and gave him the best possible chance of recovery. But, unfortunately he was no longer responding to medication.

"Chiko was a dog who loved to work. He went peacefully, with his handler and partner by his side.

"He will leave a huge gap in our lives but will never be forgotten. I would like everyone to celebrate his life and thank him for his service."