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

Amanda Holden at the centre of Twitter backlash as she sends daughter to school dressed as Pretty Woman prostitute for fancy dress day

A parenting group has slammed TV star Amanda Holden for posting a picture of her nine-year-old daughter 'dressed as a prostitute' online.The Britain's Got Talent ... Full story

Grandmother filmed confronting militants and branding them 'devils' before quoting verses in the Koran that forbid slaughter

An incredible video has emerged showing the moment an elderly woman bravely confronted two Islamic State militants, telling them their terror group is cursed and ... Full story

Jobseeker shocked to be sent rudest rejection email ever calling him an 'old, aesthetically challenged professional pr*** with no teeth'

A jobseeker was shocked after he was branded as 'irritating', 'rude' and 'obnoxious' in a cutting email accidentally sent to him by a prospective employer.James ... Full story

Youngsters turning their backs on binge drinking with 40% surge in teetotal teens and students

Teenagers and young adults are turning their backs on binge drinking, dramatic new figures have revealed.The proportion of teetotal 16-to-24 year olds has rocketed by ... Full story

Talented 18-year-old pianist who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into deep depression

A gifted 18-year-old pupil who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into 'deep depression', his ... Full story

Former PE teacher, 91, becomes oldest person ever sent to prison for the first time after being found guilty of string of sex attacks on boys

A 91-year-old former teacher has become the oldest person to be sent to prison for the first time after he was jailed for carrying out ... Full story

Beauty therapist who posted dozens of weight loss selfies showing off her new slim figure on Facebook is reported for encouraging nudity

A beauty therapist who posted dozens of 'selfie' pictures of her new slimline figure on Facebook said she was shocked and upset after being reported ... Full story

Parents slam former Ofsted boss Zenna Atkins who is now chair of school governors over x-rated messages she posted on public Facebook page

Parents have slammed a former Ofsted chief who is now chairman of a school's governing board over x-rated messages she posted on Facebook.Zenna Atkins, who ... Full story

Taxpayers forked out £2,300 a month for council boss on £195,000 a year salary to drive luxury Porsche

Taxpayers paid out more than £2,300 a month for a council chief executive on a £195,000 a year salary to drive around in a luxury ... Full story

30 signs YOUR relationship has hit the comfort zone (and will go the distance)

Do you go au natural around your partner, chat to them while naked and do their laundry? You've officially hit the comfort zone.New research reveals ... Full story

Number of Muslim children in England and Wales doubles in a decade with one in 12 school pupils now brought up in Islamic home

The number of Muslim children in England and Wales has doubled in a decade, according to the most detailed study of its kind.An analysis of ... Full story

Comment on: Tougher laws for dangerous dogs

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Golfer must pay £10,000 compensation after mishit ball went 'out of control' and struck other player on the head

Stewart Muir hit slice at Bellshill Gold Club, Lanarkshire, that swung rightHe called 'fore' and two players on another whole took cover - one did ...

Amazon agrees to pay more tax in the UK

Online retail giant Amazon will start paying more tax to the TreasuryPreviously sent money out of UK by registering revenues to LuxembourgControversial system allowed it ...

The face of guilt! French bulldog evades owner's question regarding a chewed up pen by retreating through a cat-flap

The dog looks extremely guilty when its owner challenges itIt then doubles back and exits house via a cat flap in the doorThat movement is ...

How Harry inspired the new hero of children's fiction: Author turning last idea of Thunderbirds creator into books models action man born in privilege on Prince 

Gemini Force 1 is about aristocratic teen who joins global rescue agencyLead character penned by Thunderbirds writer shortly before his deathIdea has since been polished ...

Boy has a meltdown after his older sibling cruelly presents him with his dead pet

The boy says he is 'chucking the fish out', but he presents it to his brotherBrother breaks down in frenzy of shrieking after seeing the departed ...

Town stalked by giant 2m tall, 95 KILO kangaroo who emerges from the bushes to terrorise dog-walkers and golfers

Residents of Brisbane neighbourhood stalked by a giant kangarooThe animal is two meter tall and said to weigh up to 95 kilograms Spotted in playgrounds, walking ...

Six-figure 'golden parachutes' to be halted with George Osborne set to cap public sector payouts at £95,000

Cap to be introduced in Enterprise Bill, announced in Queen's SpeechBBC will be immune from the cap, despite payouts to failed executivesOnly workers earning less ...

'We fought when we last saw each other but I did NOT order his murder': Brother of Alps murder victim again insists he had nothing to do with unsolved shooting

Zaid al-Hilli dismissed claims he ordered massacre as 'absolute nonsense'His brother Sadd was shot alongside his wife and mother-in-law in the AlpsZaid said he was ...

Painting discovered among huge Nazi art trove to be sold for £500,000 after being returned to its rightful heir - who saw it seized the morning after Kristallnacht 

Two Riders on a Beach was taken by the Nazis after Kristallnacht in 1938David Toren, 13, watched as painting was seized from Jewish great unclePainting ...

Grandmother visits the doctor to complain about her hay fever and blocked sinuses only to discover she has a very rare form of NOSE cancer

When Carol Tyrrell had a blocked nose she assumed it was her hay feverBut after her nose swelled, a doctor told her it was an ...