Dangerous dogs - 205/16
Dated: 07 Mar 2016
Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act'
Thank you for your e mail dated 11 February 2016 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.
As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, we would like to request the following information relating to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the role of Dog Legislation Officer:
1. What number of dogs were seized by your police force during each of 2014 and 2015 as prohibited types as defined under section 1 of Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?
2. Of those dogs seized as prohibited types under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act in each of 2014 and 2015, how many were also charged with an offence under section 3 of the same Act?
3. What is the total number of dogs (all types) that were seized by police in relation to an alleged offence under section 3 of Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 during each of 2014 and 2015?
4. Of those dogs seized in each of 2014 and 2015 as a prohibited type of dog under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act, how many were charged for an offence under section 1 of the Act?
5. Of those dogs seized in each of 2014 and 2015 as a prohibited type of dog under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act, how many were taken to court via a section 4b application?
6. How many prohibited type dogs, as defined under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, have been left at home under any leave at home’ policy in each of 2014 and 2015?
7. Of those dogs seized in each of 2014 and 2015 as a prohibited type of dog under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, how many were disclaimed by their owners and destroyed?
8. Of those dogs seized in each of 2014 and 2015 as a prohibited type of dog under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act, how many were assessed, found not be a prohibited type of dog and returned to their owner?
9. How many dogs in your care, seized and held as prohibited type dogs, were destroyed by your force via a court order in each of 2014 and 2015?
10. How many dogs, seized and held as prohibited types under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act, which had been ordered exempted via a court order, did not complete exemption within the deadline given and were subsequently destroyed by your police force in each of 2014 and 2015?
11. How many dogs, seized and held as prohibited types, were released to their owners in each of 2014 and 2015 as exempted dogs?
12. Who trains Dog Legislation Officers (DLO's) in your area and
13.how many of these certified officers are there ?
14. How long does it take to be considered a certified DLO?
15. Are DLO's certified/qualified in assessing behaviour in suspected prohibited breeds?
16.If so who are they trained by,
17. and who provides training materials?
18. How are suspected prohibited breeds physically assessed
19 and is there a protocol used for the scoring system?
20. For stray and unowned suspected prohibited type dogs held within rescue centres, is an age when a dog can be destroyed due to section 1 confirmation?
21. Are statistics held within your force on how many unowned section 1 dogs have been destroyed from rescue centre facilities?
22.. How many unowned/stray Section 1 dogs are destroyed in your force area?
We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.
Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Dog Section of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.
I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.
1. 2014 - 7
2015 - 0
3. 2014 - 7
2015 - 7
9. 1 - Section 3
11. 2014 - 5
2015 - 3
12. Officers selected as potential DLO’s attend a training course provided by different Police Forces. These are College of Policing approved courses.
13. In Northumbria Police we have 1 certified DLO.
14. Officers who are trained to be Dog Legislation Officers (DLO's) generally are experienced officers from within the Dog Section of Police Forces. These officers are required to attend a two week training programme which incorporates in depth knowledge of dog legislation in particular legislation pertaining to dangerous dogs. They are also required to examine and identify dogs that fall within Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1997. On successful completion of this course they will be considered to be a certified DLO.
15. No. Unless they have a separate qualification in relation to behaviour of dogs.
18. DLO’s examine dogs using the "PIT BULL GAZETTE , VOLUME 1 ISSUE 3 .1977" publication.
19. This publication sets out the standard of a Pit Bull Type dog and the dog is compared to this standard. If the dog displays a significant number of characteristics of a Pit Bull Type dog then it is ‘type’.
20. The determining time factor is more likely to be after the dog is kept for its requisite number of days if found as a stray as opposed to its age.
22. No information held
Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another. Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data. For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.
The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police. Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation. In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.
How to complain
If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure.
If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.