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

Friday, September 4, 2015
Insulting comments sent to prospective deputy Labour party leader Stella Creasy included 'you look like an alien egg' (Picture: YouTube)

‘She looks like she’s had more c**ks than hot dinners’ is just one of the charming emails Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy has received during her campaign to become deputy Labour leader. Watch her read them out to camera here.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
A paramilitary police officer carries the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi, 3, after a number of migrants died and a smaller number were reported missing after boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized. Picture: AP Photo/DHA/PA Images

A tweet from the account of Wimbledon UKIP candidate Peter Bucklitsch caused outrage today by stating Aylan Kurdi ‘died because his parents were greedy for the good life in Europe’.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
This image of a Syrian father cradling his children went viral

Almost 70,000 people have pledged to attend a central London demonstration called ‘Solidarity with Refugees’ on September 12.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Sian Berry, who also stood as the Green Party London Mayoral candidate in 2008, has been chosen as the Green's 2016 candidate (Picture: PA Images)

Transport campaigner and arts-loving councillor Sian Berry has been selected as the Green Party candidate for London Mayor in 2016.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
A naval vessel outside the ExCeL exhibition centre at an earlier Defence and Security Exhibition in 2011.  Other exhibits included an F16 fighter jet (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

One of the world’s biggest arms fairs is coming to the ExCel centre in east London later this month, and more than 1,000 protestors are already planning to oppose it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The eponymous craft beer is not always brewed in the capital (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If there’s two things London foodies are obsessed with, it’s craft beer and local products, so it’s a surprise to learn that a drink that is named after London and boasts of being “the quintessential English lager” is sometimes brewed in Europe.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Happy viewing!

MyOffers are giving you that chance to win an amazing Samsung 55” Curve HD TV.

Read more
Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Read more
Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more