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

Mugger attacks disabled pensioner who weighs less than six stone, is 4ft 6in tall and partially sighted

A disabled 67-year-old who is just 4ft 6in tall was attacked by a cowardly thug who demanded money as he was putting his bins out.Alan ... Full story

Sisters handed £110,000 after father's death - but were forced to pay it all back because it was the wrong man's money

Two sisters handed a £110,000 windfall after their father's death have been forced to pay it all back and more - after an insurance company ... Full story

Extraordinary collection of post-war photos bought for £13 at a car boot sale shows how we used to live

The memories may have faded, but these newly-found photos of bygone Britain are so clear they look as though they could have been taken yesterday.The ... Full story

The tricks of travelling in comfort revealed (without paying any extra)

It is one of the most stressful elements of travel - where to sit to ensure a comfortable flight?And with airlines trying to charge extra ... Full story

Gym fanatic, 22, suffers a heart attack and nearly dies after taking steroids to get buff quickly

A gym fanatic suffered a near-fatal heart attack on a night out after becoming addicted to the effects of taking a cocktail of steroids.Ryan Harriss, ... Full story

2,000 Tesco workers told their jobs are at risk as 43 stores face closure

Thousands of Tesco workers have been told their jobs are at risk as the troubled supermarket chain announced the names of 43 stores facing closure.  ... Full story

Environmental activist has been told she is likely to be jailed for setting 3 nail traps outside the Bristol police station that punctured the tyres of response cars

An environmental activist that used nail filled pieces of plywood to put three police cars responding to emergency calls out of action, is likely to ... Full story

12-year-old girl jumps to her death from 14th-floor apartment in Russia after her parents discover she had been watching porn

A 12 year-old Russian girl in St. Petersburg killed herself Wednesday, jumping from her block of flats after her parents discovered she'd been watching online ... Full story

The most photographed houses in Britain are photobombed by a yellow car

Each year, thousands of tourists flock to the Cotswold's village of Bibury to photograph the picturesque cottages on Arlington Row.But many have been left disappointed ... Full story

Husband who was supported by millionaire wife while he failed as an artist wants more than £50,000-a-year from her after split

A husband who was supported by his millionaire wife for years whilst he struggled to make it as an artist is battling against a divorce ... Full story

Have sex on the first date, pay for dinner and call him: How ANY woman can bag the man of her dreams in just 60 days

An author has claimed he can help any woman land the man of her dreams in just 60 days thanks to his dating techniques.Blake Lavak, ... Full story

Comment on: Tougher laws for dangerous dogs

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

John McCain tells anti-war protestors: 'Get out of here, you low-life-scum'

John McCain has always worn two things with pride: his celebrated Vietnam War veteran status and his reputation as a political maverick. Both those attributes were ...

Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly

A father who attempted to get revenge on his teenage daughter after she stole his biscuits had his plan backfire spectacularly. The unnamed reddit user told ...

Office plants computer chips under workers’ skin instead of ID cards

A new Swedish office block is implanting the workers inside of it with computer chips under their skin, rather than issuing them with ID cards. The ...

Suge Knight suspected of killing a man on set of Straight Outta Compton

Rap music mogul Suge Knight is suspected of running two men over with his truck, killing one, following an argument that broke out on the ...

UK summons Russia after two bombers fly over English Channel and 'disrupt civil aircrafts'

The UK summoned the Russian ambassador to the Foreign Office after two Russian bombers flew over the English Channel, “causing disruption to civil aviation”.  A ...

Increase in animals not being stunned before they are Halal slaughtered

There has been a large increase in the proportion of animals killed through religious slaughter without first being stunned, a survey for the Food Standards ...

Qatar Airways buys 9.99% stake worth $1.7bn in BA owner IAG

Qatar Airways has bought a 9.99 percent stake in International Airlines Group, worth around 1.15 billion pounds ($1.7 billion), building closer ties with the owner ...

Ukip 'shambles' as three members quit over Hampshire branch organiser's violent criminal past

In the latest Ukip upset, a general election candidate has quit the right-wing party after the violent criminal past of a senior campaign manager emerged. Paul ...

Isis-affiliated terrorist group kills 26 people in bomb and rocket attack in Sinai Peninsula

An Isis-affiliated terrorist group has killed at least 26 people in co-ordinated rocket and bomb attacks on the Egyptian military and police in the Sinai ...

Boris Johnson claims porn-obsessed Islamic jihadists are 'literally w*****s'

Boris Johnson has said that Islamic jihadists are “literally w*****s” who turn to extremism when “they are rejected by women”. The London Mayor claimed, in an ...