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Dangerous Dogs

Volume 502: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the reasons for trends in the number of cases of people attacked by dogs in the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (304118)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many arrests have been made for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in (a) Merseyside and (b) England since the Act came into force. (304119)

The information requested on arrests is not collected centrally.

The arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, broken down at a main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person and robbery. Offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 are not notifiable offences and do not form a part of the collection.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the (a) genetic and (b) other factors affecting the likelihood of different breeds of dogs being involved in attacks on people. (304120)

We have made no such assessment. However in April this year we commissioned new research into dog aggression against humans. The project will last for 15 months and will entail an analytical study into the risk factors associated with past aggressive dog behaviour towards people.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people have been convicted for offences related to attacks by their dogs on (a) children and (b) other people in the last five years. (304121)

Information from the court proceedings database held by the Ministry of Justice provides information on the number of defendants proceeded against and found guilty for offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The database does not hold specific information on offences beyond descriptions provided by the statutes under which prosecutions are brought, and for this offence cannot separately identify whether the individual attacked was a child or adult.

Defendants found guilty for selected offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, England and Wales, 2003 to 20071, 2

Number

Offence description

Section of the Act

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

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

S.3(1)

302

350

403

458

456

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

S.3(1)

171

167

168

160

205

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

S.3(3)

33

25

25

29

27

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

S.3(3)

10

5

9

11

15

1 The number proceeded against and number found guilty statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences the principal offence is the offence 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. 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 police forces and the courts. 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. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services—Ministry of Justice (Ref: IOS 578-09).

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many dogs have been seized and put down in (a) Southport constituency, (b) Merseyside and (c) England in the last 12 months. (304122)