Friday, 23 March 2012

Questions Need To Be Asked...

Predictably, some of the excitable denizens of Inspector Gadget's blog are losing no time whatsoever in claiming that the horrific dog attack that sent five police officers to hospital yesterday is yet more 'proof' that officers need to be armed.

In fact, comparisons are being drawn with the Cumbrian rampage of Derrick Bird which are as laughable as they are utterly distasteful.

But there are some serious aspects to the case, and they are those that don't reflect well on the police themselves:
Residents in Albert Square, Newham, said the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has attacked before - mauling a cyclist, last summer.

Pregnant Rehema Nyange said locals had repeatedly called Newham Council. But nothing was done.
Do Newham not have a typical council attitude that this is a matter for the police? If so, did they not pass it on?
Speaking about the attack she witnessed last September the 30-year-old said: ‘It attacked a guy as he rode his bicycle to work. The dog was running around the street, it was never on a leash. Then it got the man's leg. It bit him so bad.

‘It must have took a chunk out of it as when the paramedics came they had to cut his trousers off to get to it. It was a big wound.

‘He was crying like a baby but people were too scared to go out and help him in case the dog turned on them.’
Surely the paramedics would have reported this to the police, for their own safety?

It beggars belief that the police were unaware of these incidents. So...why was this dog still there at warrant serving time in the first place, and why was a dog unit/armed officers not with them?

And perhaps, given that the dog was known to have attacked another dog, according to a witness, the police will be less likely in future to be so dismissive and uninterested in dog-on-dog attacks?

We can but hope. Sadly, what we are likely to see instead is the same hysterical call for 'action' that we've seen before, and which led to the useless, expensive and counter-productive Dangerous Dogs Act that solved nothing other than to enrich lawyers...

11 comments:

Tattyfalarr said...

Hmmm well...I can see one of two things happening in future here:

1) Police will not visit any address where there is a dog of any kind present. (This apparently works well for postmen/women)

2) Police will go in mob-handed and tooled up where there is a dog of any kind present.

...and 99% of both police and public will consider either action disproportionate and unnecessary.

Such is the "seen-to-be-done" and Perception Is Key culture of the administration of the UK

ranter said...

Spot on about the DDA. Do you recall Dr Roger Mugford , the 'animal psychologist' from the 1980's? Well the DDA was the legislative equivalent of the California gold rush for him....and the lawyers as ever. The costs borne by the police to bring cases via the CPS were, probably still are, astronomical. No need for new laws, just repeal the DDA and go back to the old Dogs Act of 18 something or other but add a clause meaning compulsory destruction if serious injury caused to anyone ANYWHERE with aggravating extras - such as being used in the commission of crime IF the relevant legislation doesn't cover the circumstances. Poor old gadget's blog has been hi-jacked by a few shrill groupies - which is a shame as he does in the main post very good subjects - but it is all sounding a bit samey and tired. Lance/Pc Lightyear/MPS (not), etc - weird bunch who will contribute to their service's downfall IF they are typical of the current generation. Be careful what you wish for is all I can say.
There are plenty of laws PLUS common law which has been forgotten it seems which could deal effectively with dangerous dogs and dangerous owners but the courts and the CPS don't like to use them. Targets?

Anonymous said...

Well, as a bobby who does his fair share of warrants, i hope you don't mind me being more careful? After the DC got stabbed to death a few years ago, i also make sure occupants are handcuffed. I'm sure they are not all out to set their dog on me, shoot me or stab me, but i don't always know which one will.

In my force, i think i might have said this before...all dog bite jobs getting crimed. They can not be disposed of until dealt with through an audit trail.

When i explain to witnesses that they will have to make a statement and possibly go to court to give evidence a large percentage back down. They do not feel they should have to devote their precious time to such things...we should do it!!

Unfortunately the courts still tend to require evidence and when key witnesses decline then we cannot always secure conviction, plus CPS will almost always drop it.

So without knowing the full details, don't assume it was our fault. It may very well be, but wait to hear everything first.

I carried a live weapon in this country in the military police. I don't want to carry one in the civil police, but we need to have them more readily available. I can appreciate the public don't want it, but why is it an issue in this country and not in France or Germany? British people visit those countries and on the whole seem to come out alive. Don't demonise just because we have a different view. I respect your opposition and as stated, i don't want to routinely carry one.

pc lightyears from reality said...

i am well educatid and middle class and proffesional to.so i shud be given a snipers rifle sos i can get anyone who looks like he might wot we tachnicaly call a wrong un see.thats all

drsolly said...

I was bitten by a dog several months ago, on a public bridleway, had to go to Minor Injuries Unit for it. I reported it to the police, with the registration number of the owner's car. They visited, she denied the whole thing.

Which made it my word against hers. So no action was taken.

Except my tolerance for aggressive dogs is now zero.

If I were a police, I'd be saying "Either you give me the tools for doing this job, or I'm not doing this job." It's health and safety gone sane.

allcoppedout said...

Their own inefficiencies certainly came back to bite them.

Anonymous said...

Albert Square? So the dog was Sellars

Bertie Bassett

Anonymous said...

Wellard. Sheesh

Anonymous said...

Wellard. Sheesh

JuliaM said...

"Such is the "seen-to-be-done" and Perception Is Key culture of the administration of the UK"

Oh, I'm fully expecting some overreaction, but it shouldn't happen.

The police know about these dogs (even if they don't always tell their own staff!). All they lack is the impetus to do something about it.

The rest of the justice system will have to do its bit, though. And that's an unknown quantity.

"Well the DDA was the legislative equivalent of the California gold rush for him....and the lawyers as ever."

*sigh* Ain't it always the way?

"Well, as a bobby who does his fair share of warrants, i hope you don't mind me being more careful?"

Well, no. That is, after all, the point of the post.

"When i explain to witnesses that they will have to make a statement and possibly go to court to give evidence a large percentage back down. They do not feel they should have to devote their precious time to such things..."

I guess it depends on the person. Most would be quite happy to do so. If they are totally innocent, what would they have to fear?

Except, perhaps, the sort of people who own these dogs? And their lack of faith in the justice system?

JuliaM said...

" I can appreciate the public don't want it, but why is it an issue in this country and not in France or Germany?"

Because we aren't France or Germany. That might sound flippant, but it's actually the crux of the matter.

"Which made it my word against hers. So no action was taken."

I bet if you were to report it now, you'd get a very different reaction, with the officers thinking 'Hmmm, I might have to go to that address one day...'

"Their own inefficiencies certainly came back to bite them."

Oh, indeed! And there's a great deal of schadenfreude going on in newspaper comments.