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."

Headlines Newsview all

Muslim hate preacher was allowed to spread jihad in British mosques before London bombings

A MUSLIM hate preacher who was allowed to tour British mosques and spread the message of jihad may have planted the idea of the London ... Full story

Another reason to quit the EU: Foreigners rack up £723m NHS bill

Figures produced by the Department of Health show that, since 2007-8, the UK has paid £6.18billion in health costs for British citizens in Europe – ... Full story

ISIS warns London is next in terror video threatening non-Muslims across Europe

ISLAMIC State has issued a chilling video warning that London is next to be hit by a terror attack at least as deadly as the ... Full story

Police psychological sick leave up 35% in five years

Cases of UK police officers and staff taking long-term sick leave for psychological reasons have risen by 35% over the last five years, statistics obtained ... Full story

Panama Papers: Cameron under pressure over tax havens

David Cameron is coming under pressure to stop British overseas territories and Crown dependencies being used by the wealthy to reduce their tax bills. A massive ... Full story

Donald Trump Is An ‘Idiot’ Whose Nato Comments Are Making Putin Happy, Say British MPs

Donald Trump is an “idiot” for his criticism of Nato and is making Vladimir Putin “very happy”, British MPs have said. On Saturday, the frontrunner in ... Full story

Royal Mint mark Queen's birthday with £5 coin - which could cost you as much as £7,500

Struck by the Royal Mint they have been issued in a variety of finishes and metals, including editions in platinum, gold and silver. The coins feature ... Full story

Feeling the pressure? Cameron snaps with bizarre rant over EU referendum

David Cameron dismissed talk of a split in the Tory party and in a bizarre rant said it was just journalists “setting each others’ hair ... Full story

Leaving Europe is VITAL to protect strained NHS, warns Cabinet minister

Cabinet member and Employment Minister Priti Patel has warned the health service will be better off if the UK votes to leave the EU. She claims ... Full story

Santander cash machine ALERT: Police warn public NOT to use cashpoints over security risk

Forces in both Lancashire and Cheshire have issued alerts over the use of Santander cashpoints as customers' details may be at risk. The warning follows reports ... Full story

Holiday bargains for families as costs tumble across EU: Britons set to save HUNDREDS

Costs across Europe have plummeted as the price of food, drinks and entertainment has been slashed in resorts.  They have nosedived more than 40 per cent ... Full story

Comment on: Tougher laws for dangerous dogs

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

Chelsea Flower Show sees two Australian women create 300,000 knitted poppies

Thousands of handmade poppies have transformed the Royal Hospital Chelsea in a beautiful new exhibitionChelsea Pensioners were treated to a sneak preview ahead of the show's opening ...

MS804 did NOT swerve or lose altitude before it vanished, says Egypt air traffic official – as memorial service is held for the 66 victims at Cairo mosque

By Simon Tomlinson for MailOnline Published: 01:50 EST, 24 May 2016 | Updated: 02:09 EST, 24 May 2016 ...

Thailand students dead after fire ripped through Pitakiatwittaya School in Chiang Rai

Eighteen girls at Pitakiatwittaya School died after becoming trapped Survivors were only able to escape because they had not yet gone to bedThai authorities are investigating ...

Philip Green's advisers knew BHS buyer was bankrupt 3 months before sale

Advisers in Sir Philip's empire knew Dominic Chappell had been bankrupt Revelations emerged yesterday in Commons Business Work and Pensions select committees hearing yesterdayThe 88-year-old British ...

Clancy Leach 'egged Kendall and Kylie Jenner fan event and growled at police'

Clancy Leach is accused of hurling eggs at stage of reality stars' eventShe was arrested at Westfield in Parramatta, western Sydney, in NovemberPolice allege she ...

The 'forgotten' iconic Australian companies that have been sold into foreign ownership 

Australian Leather Pty Ltd fighting in U.S. court over the name 'ugg boots' Sydney-based company is trying to stop Deckers from getting a trademark The case is ...

Hawaii plane crash kills five during skydiving tour in Hanapepe

Five died when plane crashed moments after take off at Port Allen AirportTwo tandem jumpers, two skydive instructors and a pilot were all killedThe single-engine ...

St Mary's Catholic University reports UK Christians are now a MINORIITY

A 2014 census study shows number of 'nones' is now above 50 per centPercentage has almost doubled since the census three years previouslyReport by St ...

Melbourne transport could be benefited by driverless trains

Bombardier boss said driverless trains are being used around the worldHe said driverless trains could be more efficient for Melbourne passengersSystem allows shorter distances between trains so ...

Coca Cola stops production in Venezuela due to sugar shortages

Sugar cane production has dropped amid Venezuela's crippling recessionCoca Cola declared end to sugar-infused Coke in the country on MondayCoke Light and zero-sugar beverages will ...