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House of Commons Hansard
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Dangerous Dogs Act 1991: Convictions
25 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the answer of 30 March 2009, Official Report, columns 979-90W, on Dangerous Dogs Act 1991: convictions, how many people in (a) London and (b) England were (i) charged with and (ii) convicted of offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in each of the last three years; how many such convictions were under (A) section 1 and (B) section 3 of the Act; and how many resulted in 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. [323654]

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The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty and sentenced at all courts for offences under Section 1 and 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, in London Government Office Region and England in 2008 (latest available) can be viewed in the table.

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

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

Court data for 2009 are planned for publication in the autumn, 2010.

Number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty and sentenced at all courts for offences under Section 1 and 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, London Government office region (G.O.R) and England 20081, 2

Fine bands3

Area/Section of the Act

Proceeded against

Found guilty

Sentenced

Fine

£0200

£201-£500

£501-£1,000

£1,001-£2,000

£2,001-£5,000

Sentenced to immediate custody

London G.O.R

Section 14

62

51

51

27

20

7

2

Section 35

150

97

97

24

19

4

1

7

England

Section 14

137

115

115

54

44

10

6

Section 35

1,024

713

709

223

167

44

12

20

1 The figures given in the table on court proceedings 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 it 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 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 The levels associated with fines do not relate to the amount of the fine but to the offence committed and the statutory maximum that may be issued for that offence. Therefore as the maximum fine for each of these offences is a level 5 every fine issued for these offences would be considered as a level 5 fine; as it would cover the range £0-£5000. We have therefore shown the number of fines issued by band.

4 Section 1 includes the following offences:

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.

5 Section 3 includes the following offences:

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.

Notes:

Magistrates courts

In the case of sentences at magistrates courts, a change was made to the categorisation by area as part of the rollout of the Libra case management system in magistrates courts during 2008. Sentences given at courts using the Libra system are categorised according to the criminal justice area of the court, while sentences given at courts not yet using the Libra system are categorised in the same way as at the Crown court. By the end of 2008, all magistrates courts were using Libra. This change will have almost no impact on the categorisation by area; only around 0.01 percent of sentences at magistrates courts could have been affected in 2007 and 2008. Police forces do not prosecute minor offences (those that are sentenced at magistrates courts) in courts outside their areas.

Crown court

Sentences at the Crown court are categorised according to the police force that prosecuted the offence including those sentences that may be given at a court outside the prosecuting police force’s area.

Source:

Justice Statistics Analytical Services in the Ministry of Justice