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

Mohammed Emwazi: 'Jihadi John was my best worker', IT boss of Isis militant says

The British graduate unmasked in reports as the Isis executioner known as Jihadi John was a model employee, "calm and decent" and "very good with ...

Rebekah Brooks: Former Sun and News of the World editor reportedly poised for News Corp return as Storyful boss

Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of the now-defunct tabloid News of the World and the Sun and a much trusted lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch, may ...

Warren Buffett: I know who's taking over as Berkshire Hathaway CEO - but I'm not telling

Warren Buffett, the 84-year-old Sage of Omaha, has identified his successor, but is not telling anyone who it is yet. In his 50th annual letter to ...

Business Secretary Vince Cable warns interest rate rises could hit Londoners

Homeowners in London could be “very badly exposed” if the Bank of England raises interest rates in the coming years, the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, ...

Civil Aviation Authority rejects advice to reform board

Britain’s aviation regulator has rejected a proposal to overhaul its board structure in order to improve corporate governance, as recommended by the Big Four accountancy ...

Week Ahead: After the bloodbath at Standard Chartered investors are prepared to be disappointed

Just how bad will the damage be for Standard Chartered? After the boardroom bloodbath this week, investors are prepared for disappointment when the emerging markets ...

Sports attractions fuel capital's hotel boom

London is in the midst of a hotel boom as a growing economy and events such as this year’s rugby World Cup push occupancy rates ...

David Prosser: Small businesses hold the key to raising Britain's productivity

Improving productivity is the next big challenge for the UK’s economic policymakers. It represents an opportunity to confront one of the most awkward questions facing ...

End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how Corporation is funded

The BBC will back a radical overhaul of the licence fee, paving the way for the end of the current system of funding the state ...

End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded

The BBC will back a radical overhaul of the licence fee, paving the way for the end of the current system of funding the state ...