Dog Legislation Officers and Dangerous Dogs Information

Durham Constabulary has five officers trained to deal with dangerous dogs as outlined in legislation; they are a point of contact and referral for the force in all matters relating to this important issue. They have developed robust procedures to ensure public safety is maintained as well as introducing awareness and educational programmes to support and monitor dog owners.
 
Durham Constabulary Dog Support Unit currently has five DLO’s who have responsibility:
• To be able to identify dogs that are alleged to be of a prohibited breed/type.
• To give advice on all aspects of dog legislation, oversee case management and ensure that proceedings are brought expeditiously where dogs are held in kennels.
• Dog legislation officers should take responsibility and be consulted, prior to any dog being seized.
• To establish good working relationships with local authority officers, the RSPCA and local animal welfare organisations.

 

The RSPCA is concerned but unsurprised to see that the annual number of admissions to hospitals for dog bites and strikes released by the HSCIC has again increased. The Government has said it will use dog bite statistics to measure the effectiveness of the new law which comes into force in May but we don’t expect this trend to change while the law does nothing to prevent these sorts of dog bites and attacks from happening in the first place.

 
The new legislation now states that a dog can be dangerously out of control in any place in England and Wales
 
We strongly believe that there needs to be a much greater co-ordinated and focused effort to educate people to interact safely around dogs. The hospital statistics show that the age group with the highest admissions is 0-9 year olds. Children tend to treat pet dogs as their peers often cuddling and kissing them with very close facial contact, which a dog could find threatening. Therefore it is vital that parents and others teach themselves and children about dogs so signs that a dog is uncomfortable are recognised and acted upon especially when summer, a time when admissions are highest, is approaching.
 
The RSPCA has information for families which includes the following simple rules:
•             Never leave a child alone in the same room as a dog
•             Only allow close contact between children and dogs under competent adult supervision
•             Never allow your child to approach an unfamiliar dog or one that you don’t know to be friendly towards children
 
               
Further free resources are available for parents on how you can teach your child to minimise the risk of dog bites