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Dutch police use rats in crime investigations


Posted on Wednesday, 18 September, 2013 | Comment icon 10 comments

The rats have received special training. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Alexey Krasavin
Specially trained rodents are proving to be a cheap and effective alternative to traditional lab work.
In an unusual move to save money, police in Rotterdam have succeeded in training a group of sewer rats to sniff out illicit drugs, gunpowder residue and other substances of consequence with an accuracy rating of up to 95% in an effort to help speed up criminal investigations.

Authorities in the Netherlands currently maintain a squad of five of the crime-busting rodents including one named "Derrick" after the protagonist of a popular German TV series.

The rats aren't a replacement for police dogs, but rather they are used in the examination of evidence to save the need to carry out expensive testing. In the search for evidence of gunshot residue on clothing for instance the rats are able to track down in mere seconds what would take several hours to find using chemicals and microscopes.

"Theoretically you can train them on any substance," said trainer Monique Hamerslag. "Even toothpaste."

Source: Spiegel.de | Comments (10)

Tags: Police, Rat

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Taun on 16 September, 2013, 13:20
So now when criminals are caught they can do their best Jimmy Cagney: "You dirty rat"....
Comment icon #2 Posted by Mikko-kun on 18 September, 2013, 13:45
Just dont put male and female rats in the same crime squad, you'll see maaany baby rats after.
Comment icon #3 Posted by ancient astronaut on 18 September, 2013, 15:18
The "Rat Squad"
Comment icon #4 Posted by YukiEsmaElite0 on 18 September, 2013, 17:21
The "Mousketeers"...
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 18 September, 2013, 19:31
Interesting. From the original article it reads, in part: Biology is on his side -- rats have 1,000 different receptors that are crucial to the perception of smells. That's more than dogs, which have 900, and well more than humans, with a paltry 380. Huh, I never knew that.
Comment icon #6 Posted by tagace1 on 18 September, 2013, 21:05
Leave it to the dutch. The ones with relaxed drug laws to do this. And it saves money thats a plus
Comment icon #7 Posted by Lava_Lady on 19 September, 2013, 4:06
Rats are amazing creatures!!!
Comment icon #8 Posted by falconxwes on 19 September, 2013, 20:05
sounds like the plot to minority report 2
Comment icon #9 Posted by ealdwita on 19 September, 2013, 23:05
An attempt to employ them on traffic duties failed, because apparently, there are certain things even rats refuse to do!
Comment icon #10 Posted by lightly on 20 September, 2013, 12:06
... and they kept falling over on their tiny motorcycles


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