Tough sentences for ‘devil dog’ owners welcome in London - Boris Johnson

17:08 15 May 2012

Metropolitan Police dog handlers removing a pitbull during a raid. PIC: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Metropolitan Police dog handlers removing a pitbull during a raid. PIC: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

London Mayor Boris Johnson welcomed new harsher punishments for owners of violent dogs.

Owners whose hounds go out of control and attack people in public could face 18 months in prison, from August.

Irresponsible owners will be easier to ban from keeping dogs.

In addition, using the dog as a weapon by goading it will be seen as an aggravating factor by judges.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “These welcome changes mean we’re one step closer to tackling the serious menace of weapon dogs, but I’ll continue lobbying for the wider legislation to ensure the owners who deliberately train animals to become weapons dogs receive the same harsh punishment as people who carry knives.”

Training a dog to fight or possessing paraphernalia for dog fighting will also be seen as an aggravating factor, following lobbying by Mayor Johnson and the Police Federation – which represents rank and file officers.

The Dogs Trust said the changes would encourage courts to focus on “the key factors of culpability of the owner and the amount of harm to the victim”.

Peter Chapman, chairman of the Magistrates’ Association sentencing committee, said “For the first time, magistrates will have all they need in one document to help them sentence the offender, disqualify him from future dog ownership if appropriate, order compensation to the victim and order destruction of the dog if necessary.”

But more needed to be done warned animal charity, Blue Cross.

“The campaign to reform the current Dangerous Dogs Act has been dragging on for some 20 years now,” said Steve Goody..

“We feel that there is an urgent need for preventative action, or dog attacks will continue to increase.

“We believe the introduction of useful, practical measures could be used specifically to target irresponsible dog owners before an attack happens.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Monday, June 29, 2015
Protesters at an earlier anti-austerity demo in Berlin in March (Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Owen Jones, Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn and Green MP Caroline Lucas are all at a rally in Trafalgar Square to show solidarity with Greece this evening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Police clashed with disabled protesters in the lobby of the House of Commons (Photo: Debbie Jolly/PA Wire)

Police have been accused of “heavy handed tactics” as they blocked disabled protesters, many in wheelchairs, from entering the House of Commons chamber during Prime Minister’s Questions today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
(Hannah McKay/PA Wire)

In his latest YouTube video and in the wake of Saturday’s anti-austerity march, Russell Brand has called on people to ‘love the police’ and protest in the streets for better pay, better overtime and better pensions. This, he claims, is a new form of activism called ‘situationism’ which creates ‘spectacles which are provocative and interesting’. You can watch his Trews video below.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Anti-austerity protesters at the State Opening of Parliament (John Stillwell/PA Wire)

Tens of thousands of people from all over the country are expected to demonstrate in London for the People’s Assembly ‘End Austerity Now’ protest on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
(Zac Goldsmith running for Mayor. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Images)

Expelled Eton boy, environmentalist and Conservative rising star Zac Goldsmith has joined Sol Campbell in announcing he will run for the role of Mayor of London.

Monday, June 8, 2015
(Picture: Martin Rickett / PA Archive)

The star football player has told SunNation he will run for the role of London Mayor in 2016 and is “in it to win it”.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more