A NEW crime-fighting duo are set to take to the streets of North Yorkshire.

New dog handler PC Martin Gayles has just completed his initial training course partnered with his German shepherd Thor, trained to sniff out suspects, search property and find missing people.

PC Gayles will take over from the county’s longest serving dog handler, PC Vince Gillon, who is due to retire in September after 30 years’ service.

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PC Gillon began his career as a Richmond beat officer in September 1984 and has since served across the county.

The recipient of two awards for bravery - including for disarming a man with a knife and dealing with a firearms incident in Masham - he is now looking forward to retiring.

“I’ve had a fantastic career, it’s been challenging, interesting and rewarding,” he said.

“Martin is just at the beginning of his career and I wish him every success for the future. He has a brilliant career ahead of him.

PC Gayles joined the force in 2005 and worked as a response officer in Richmond for nine years.

“Combining policing with my love of dogs makes this role a dream job for me,” he said.

“We’ve just completed our licensing course together and will spend a couple of weeks doing more training before we’ll be out and about helping to keep North Yorkshire safe.”