PreviousNext

Tougher laws for dangerous dogs

By // News | Tougher laws for dangerous dogs
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
14 May 2012 Last updated at 20:02 ET By Dominic Casciani Home affairs correspondent
Police dog handlers seize a dangerous during a raidPolice dog handlers seize a dangerous animal during a raid

Owners of dangerous dogs who are convicted in England and Wales will face tougher punishment under new guidelines.

The Sentencing Council for England and Wales says people who fail to stop their dog harming others should face at least six months in jail.

The body said more offenders would face jail or community orders and fewer would receive discharges.

More than 500 people and organisations lobbied the council over the proposals.

Official figures show there has been a rise in recent years in the number of people sentenced for dangerous dog offences, reaching 1,192 cases in 2010.

The NHS has also estimated that dog injuries cost it more than £3m a year, with the number of bites doubling to more than 6,100 between 1997 and 2010.

The Sentencing Council issues guidelines to help courts across England and Wales to sentence offences more consistently, within the ranges set out by Parliament.

Last December, the council proposed in a consultation that judges should consider a community order as the starting point for sentencing people who allow a dangerous dog to injure someone.

However, the offence will now have a starting point of six months in jail - and where appropriate judges should consider up to 18 months.

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, offenders can face up to two years in jail in the most severe cases.

People convicted of possessing a dangerous dog could face up to six months, said the council. It also said that courts should order a dog's destruction unless there is proof it cannot harm again.

Although the council's guideline has upped the proposed starting point for serious offences, some offenders could still be discharged from court if they can show they tried to stop an attack.

The guideline does not cover incidents where a dog is deliberately used in an attack because the offender would be charged with assault or a serious violent offence.

The council said that following 500 responses to the consultation, the guideline had been amended to allow judges to increase a sentence where the victim was clearly vulnerable, such as if they were blind. The guideline now also covers injuries to other animals, such as pets and guide dogs.

Anne Arnold, a district judge and member of the Sentencing Council, said courts would be encouraged "to use their full powers when dealing with offenders so that they are jailed where appropriate".

"It also gives guidance to courts on making the best use of their powers so that people can be banned from keeping dogs, genuinely dangerous dogs can be put down and compensation can be paid to victims."

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Royal baby hoax hospital staff wanted to discipline nurse Jacintha Saldanha

An Australian DJ has made a face-to-face apology to the family of a nurse who killed herself after she put her through to the Duchess of ... Full story

Trainee teacher hangs himself after split from the girlfriend he couldn’t live without

A trainee teacher hanged himself on New Year’s Eve after a split from his girlfriend, an inquest heard today. Keiran Walsh, 22, split from his partner ... Full story

White Dee, Benefits Street's most infamous and shameless resident

Late on a dark and rainy night, it is all go-go-go down at White Dee’s house in Birmingham. There is a pan of fish stew ... Full story

DJ Chris Moyles claimed to be a second-hand CAR DEALER to save £1 million in celebrity tax avoidance scheme

DJ Chris Moyles claimed to be a second-hand car dealer while presenting Radio 1’s Breakfast Show in a bid to save up to £1million in ... Full story

Kym Marsh fling with personal trainer, Matt Baker

Her marriage to Jamie Lomas ended in October and now Kym Marsh has sparked romance rumours after spending Valentine's weekend in Paris with her personal ... Full story

Nicole Scherzinger shows off a bit too much

NICOLE Scherzinger and fellow leading ladies at this year's Brits spent hours getting ready for the big night.But once the after-parties kicked in, their extensive ... Full story

Mother arrested after11-month-old daughter mauled to death by dog

A mother has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after her “beautiful and adorable” 11-month-old daughter was mauled to death by a dog.Ava Jayne Marie ... Full story

London Tube strike cancelled after last minute talks

A planned 48-hour strike by London Underground workers in a row over ticket office closures has been called off after a last-minute deal was agreed.Members ... Full story

First woman bishop in the Church of England could be appointed ‘by Christmas’

The first woman bishop in the Church of England could be appointed before the end of this year, the Church’s most senior official has disclosed.William ... Full story

Bank of England must move away from its rigid unemployment target or risk losing credibility

The Bank of England must "get back to basics" and move away from its rigid unemployment target or risk losing credibility, former Bank policymakers have ... Full story

Hollywood child star Shirley Temple dies at age 85

Shirley Temple, the American actress, singer and dancer, has died at her home in California from natural causes.Temple, who began her film career in 1932 ... Full story

Comment on: Tougher laws for dangerous dogs

Rate this article

0

Featured author

julian nwogu

Breaking News

Theresa May sleeps for five or six hours each night: 'There's a lot of work to do'

Theresa May survives on just five or six hours of sleep – only a little more than Margaret Thatcher, whom she has been compared to ...

Cliff Richard to sue BBC over filming police raid on his Berkshire home, after sexual abuse claim

Sir Cliff Richard may sue the BBC over its coverage of the police raid on his home. The singer will seek damages for breach of privacy, ...

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool match report: Yannick Bolasie and Dwight Gayle shine as Reds haunted by Palace yet again

In the mud and rain in south London it will not have been just the defeat that caused Brendan Rodgers to retreat, brooding, into his ...

Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later

When it comes to promoting equality of the sexes, we tend to think that we’ve come a long way in the past 40 years. But a ...

Scots buy and spend more for Christmas gifts compared to 'stingy' Londoners

A new north-south divide is brewing in the run-up to the yuletide season after it was revealed people in Scotland are more generous with Christmas ...

Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict

Britain approved the sale of arms to Israel worth £7m in the six months before its offensive on Gaza this summer, including components for drones, ...

Lewis Hamilton wins the F1 2014 Drivers' Championship: Hamilton takes Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory to secure second title

Lewis Hamilton claimed a second Formula One world championship with victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton, who won his first title in 2008, took ...

Coventry smash leaves car split in two but driver and children escape unharmed

A man and two children escaped with their lives last night when their car split in two after a crash in Coventry. The vehicle careered off ...

Bill Cosby: More women accuse actor of sexual assault

Bill Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by four new women over the weekend. Kristina Ruehli alleges that the comedy actor tried to force her ...

Bill Cosby: More women accuse actor and comedian of sexual assault

Bill Cosby has been accused of sexual assault by four new women over the weekend. Kristina Ruehli alleges that the comedy actor tried to force her ...