Skip to main content

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991: Convictions

Volume 490: debated on Monday 30 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people in each (a) region and (b) London borough have been (i) charged with and (ii) convicted of offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in each year since 1997; how many of those convicted were found guilty of offences under (A) section 1 and (B) section 3 of the Act; and of those how many were given a (1) destruction order, (2) disqualification order, (3) custodial sentence, (4) fine on Level 1 of the standard scale, (5) fine on Level 2 of the standard scale, (6) fine on Level 3 of the standard scale, (7) fine on Level 4 of the standard scale and (8) fine on Level 5 of the standard scale. (265582)

The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts and found guilty at all courts under sections 1, 3 and 4 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, by region, in England and Wales, 1997 to 2007 can be viewed in tables 1 and 2.

Charging data are not held by the Ministry of Justice, thus prosecution data have been provided in lieu.

The number of persons fined and given custodial sentences for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 sections 1 and 3 broken down by region and fine levels, in England and Wales, 1997 to 2007 can be viewed in table 3.

Information on destruction and disqualification orders is not held centrally and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Court proceedings data are not available at London borough level.

These data are on the principal offence basis. The figures given in the following table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offence for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the offence selected is the one for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.

Table 1: Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts, under Section 1, Section 3 and Section 4 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, by region, in England and Wales, 1997 to 20071, 2, 3

Proceeded against

Region

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Section 1, 3, and 4 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

North East

50

77

72

72

59

66

64

76

55

71

95

North West

77

108

124

118

123

111

151

138

129

157

184

Yorkshire and Humberside

46

90

82

69

90

87

107

119

134

165

112

East Midlands

25

62

61

60

46

67

75

78

105

78

93

West Midlands

46

93

81

65

127

133

137

143

137

108

150

East of England

38

54

60

72

57

87

80

63

108

104

128

London

80

83

79

92

97

86

91

82

80

102

150

South East

79

93

95

118

99

107

98

127

134

158

138

South West

36

57

81

64

109

100

107

75

67

68

65

Wales

27

45

67

93

79

78

78

89

76

66

78

England and Wales

504

762

802

823

886

922

988

990

1,025

1,077

1,193

Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

North East

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

North West

3

1

1

2

0

0

1

5

1

1

25

Yorkshire and Humberside

1

3

1

1

0

2

1

2

4

0

4

East Midlands

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

11

3

1

0

West Midlands

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

4

0

21

East of England

2

2

0

1

0

2

0

1

1

1

1

London

16

17

12

6

7

9

2

3

1

6

43

South East

6

9

7

3

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

South West

0

2

4

2

0

1

1

0

2

2

4

Wales

1

1

0

1

0

0

2

0

2

0

0

England and Wales

31

35

26

17

9

16

7

22

18

11

103

Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

North East

49

77

70

72

59

66

64

76

55

71

90

North West

74

107

123

116

121

111

149

132

128

155

159

Yorkshire and Humberside

45

87

80

68

88

84

106

117

130

164

108

East Midlands

23

62

61

59

46

67

75

64

102

77

93

West Midlands

44

93

81

65

126

132

137

143

132

108

128

East of England

36

52

60

66

57

84

80

62

107

102

124

London

64

66

67

86

90

77

89

79

79

96

106

South East

69

84

88

115

98

105

98

127

134

158

138

South West

36

49

50

46

74

73

87

57

51

57

57

Wales

26

44

66

90

79

78

76

89

73

66

77

England and Wales

466

721

746

783

838

877

961

946

991

1,054

1,080

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Includes the following statutes and corresponding offence descriptions:

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(2)(a)

Breeding or breeding from a fighting dog.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(2)(b)

Selling, exchanging, offering, advertising or exposing for sale a fighting dog.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(2)(c)

Giving or offering to give a fighting dog.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(2)(d)

Allowing a fighting dog to be in a public place without a muzzle or a lead.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(2)(e)

Abandoning, or allowing to stray, a fighting dog.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(3)

Possession, without exemption, of a Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa or other designated fighting dog.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 3(1)

Owner or person in charge allowing dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place injuring any person.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 3(3)

Owner or person in charge allowing dog to enter a non-public place and injure any person.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 3(1)

Owner or person in charge allowing dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place, no injury being caused.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 3(3)

Owner or person in charge allowing dog to enter a non-public place causing reasonable apprehension of injury to a person.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 S.4 (8)

Failing to give up a dog for destruction or having custody of a dog while disqualified.

Source:

Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Evidence & Analysis Unit - Ministry of Justice

Table 2: Number of persons found guilty at all courts under Section 1, Section 3 and Section 4 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, by region, in England and Wales, 1997 to 20071, 2, 3, 4

Found guilty

Region

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Section 1, 3, and 4 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

North East

17

33

42

38

40

42

35

39

39

45

72

North West

39

67

80

73

75

73

96

82

84

107

124

Yorkshire and Humberside

18

53

43

41

51

44

60

73

87

104

64

East Midlands

17

32

35

38

23

38

42

53

62

47

61

West Midlands

22

47

38

30

73

74

63

86

76

84

102

East of England

14

29

32

39

31

38

45

36

67

63

82

London

42

42

41

42

51

52

47

48

47

57

91

South East

43

45

52

58

52

51

42

64

74

82

86

South West

20

32

43

38

76

57

55

51

40

37

44

Wales

9

26

36

49

50

48

46

50

49

42

56

England and Wales

241

406

442

446

522

517

531

582

625

668

782

Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

North East

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

North West

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

4

1

1

19

Yorkshire and Humberside

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

4

0

1

East Midlands

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

11

1

0

0

West Midlands

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

2

0

15

East of England

1

2

0

0

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

London

11

8

7

2

3

5

1

1

1

3

32

South East

3

1

3

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

South West

0

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

2

Wales

1

1

0

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

England and Wales

19

15

12

8

4

7

3

17

11

6

74

Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

North East

17

33

41

38

40

42

35

39

39

45

68

North West

38

67

80

73

74

73

94

78

83

106

105

Yorkshire and Humberside

18

52

42

40

49

43

60

73

83

104

63

East Midlands

15

32

35

38

23

38

42

39

61

47

61

West Midlands

20

47

38

30

72

74

63

86

74

84

86

East of England

13

27

32

36

31

36

45

35

66

61

81

London

31

34

34

40

48

47

46

47

46

54

59

South East

38

44

49

55

52

50

42

64

74

82

86

South West

20

24

26

24

48

36

44

36

30

33

38

Wales

8

25

35

48

50

48

45

50

49

42

56

England and Wales

218

385

412

422

487

487

516

547

605

658

703

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Includes the following statutes and corresponding offence descriptions:

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(2)(a)

Breeding or breeding from a fighting dog.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(2)(b)

Selling, exchanging, offering, advertising or exposing for sale a fighting dog.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(2)(c)

Giving or offering to give a fighting dog.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(2)(d)

Allowing a fighting dog to be in a public place without a muzzle or a lead.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(2)(e)

Abandoning, or allowing to stray, a fighting dog.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 1(3)

Possession, without exemption, of a Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa or other designated fighting dog.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 3(1)

Owner or person in charge allowing dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place injuring any person.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 3(3)

Owner or person in charge allowing dog to enter a non-public place and injure any person.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 3(1)

Owner or person in charge allowing dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place, no injury being caused.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sec 3(3)

Owner or person in charge allowing dog to enter a non-public place causing reasonable apprehension of injury to a person.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 S.4 (8)

Failing to give up a dog for destruction or having custody of a dog while disqualified

4 Staffordshire Police Force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates' courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.

Source:

Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Evidence & Analysis Unit - Ministry of Justice

Table 3: Persons fined and given custodial sentences for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Sections 1 and 3 broken down by region and fine levels, England and Wales, 1997 to 2007

Dangerous Dogs Act1991/Region/Sentence

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Dangerous Dogs Act section 1

North East

Persons fined

Level 1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

North West

Persons fined

Level 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

3

0

1

0

Level 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

Yorkshire and Humberside

Persons fined

Level 1

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

East Midlands

Persons fined

Level 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

10

0

0

0

Level 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

West Midlands

Persons fined

Level 1

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

11

East of England

Persons fined

Level 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

London

Persons fined

Level 1

4

2

4

1

0

4

1

1

1

1

7

Level 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

South East

Persons fined

Level 1

1

0

2

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

South West

Persons fined

Level 1

0

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Level 2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wales

Persons fined

Level 1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

Level 2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Level 3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Dangerous Dogs Act section 3

North East

Persons fined

Level 1

4

13

11

8

7

12

10

5

8

11

16

Level 2

3

0

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

North West

Persons fined

Level 1

10

30

36

30

21

25

21

30

23

41

27

Level 2

2

4

1

3

4

2

9

1

3

3

7

Level 3

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

1

Level 4

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

Level 5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

1

2

2

0

1

3

1

1

3

12

Yorkshire and Humberside

Persons fined

Level 1

5

14

15

11

21

24

22

23

27

22

18

Level 2

1

1

2

0

2

1

3

3

7

4

4

Level 3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

4

2

East Midlands

Persons fined

Level 1

5

10

11

13

8

14

13

11

18

8

14

Level 2

0

0

3

2

1

3

0

1

2

3

3

Level 3

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Level 4

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

3

2

West Midlands

Persons fined

Level 1

9

9

11

8

24

31

26

34

28

35

27

Level 2

0

3

3

2

5

0

3

4

6

4

6

Level 3

0

1

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

Level 4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Level 5

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

1

0

1

0

1

2

1

0

2

4

East of England

Persons fined

Level 1

3

9

8

7

10

15

14

12

20

17

21

Level 2

0

0

0

2

4

2

6

3

4

2

6

Level 3

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

3

Level 4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

1

1

London

Persons fined

Level 1

12

8

12

17

20

15

20

14

9

12

9

Level 2

3

2

1

7

0

3

4

5

3

4

6

Level 3

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

Level 4

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

1

0

1

2

0

2

0

3

4

South East

Persons fined

Level 1

9

12

17

19

13

17

9

14

15

19

27

Level 2

0

5

2

1

4

2

6

5

3

10

7

Level 3

1

0

2

1

0

0

1

0

1

1

0

Level 4

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

Persons given custodial sentence

1

1

1

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

South West

Persons fined

Level 1

6

6

9

7

17

8

7

6

4

5

8

Level 2

0

1

2

4

6

2

3

0

1

4

1

Level 3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

2

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

2

1

Wales

Persons fined

Level 1

4

11

13

20

23

22

21

27

20

17

19

Level 2

0

1

0

0

2

3

1

0

3

2

4

Level 3

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

0

Level 5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

Persons given custodial sentence

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

1

3

Note:

These figures are on the principal offence basis.

Source:

(OMSAS)03-09