In the Media

ACPO response to Guide Dogs report showing an increase in the number of attacks on guide dogs

PUBLISHED June 11, 2012

ACPO lead for dangerous dogs, Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard, said:

"Dangerous dog attacks on other animals can be frightening for any animal owner, but the impact for those who rely on guide dogs can be especially severe.

"Within the current legislation, such attacks are not necessarily a criminal offence, unless the guide dog owner has also sustained an injury and the attack occurred in a public place. Consequently, it can be difficult to bring a criminal prosecution against people whose dogs have attacked other animals.

"In such circumstances there may be recourse to bring a complaint about out of control dogs to a magistrate in a civil, rather than a criminal, court setting. I would encourage people to come forward to police and report these kind of attacks as we can assist in bringing those complaints forward.

"The law concerning dangerous dogs is sufficiently complex to have required the training of specific Dog Legislation Officers (DLOs) to ensure its proper implementation. Even then, many believe it provides insufficient protection for the public, while the experience of the police service suggests it disappoints victims when they realise the limitations to what the police can achieve. ACPO will be providing, on behalf of the police service, a response to the government's Dog Control Bill consultation to highlight the difficulties there are in dealing with dangerous dogs."