A BBC investigation has revealed that UK police forces have paid out £120,000 compensation to at least 150 innocent people who have been attacked by police dogs between 2011 and 2013.
Forty-eight forces were asked for data as part of the study, with forty-two complying, three refusing and three indicating they did not keep records of these incidents. Some regions declined to disclose the exact amounts paid out, while in a few cases there were claims still in progress.
The Metropolitan Police revealed it paid out over £44,500 to victims, while the figure for Greater Manchester Police was around £25,000.
Victims have reported being attacked in their gardens, while some have claimed they were bitten by dogs who were let off their lead or escaped from the back of a police van. There have been at least two cases of children as young as ten being bitten.
While some victims and their families have said they believe these incidents show that police should not use dogs, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has said it will continue to do so.
They pointed out that these reports comprised just a fraction of the thousands of incidents attended by police dogs over the three-year period, adding that the behaviour of dogs was continually monitored and that animals were stood down if they failed to meet standards.
Personal injury advice from Croftons Solicitors
If you have been attacked by a dog in a public place or on your property, Croftons Solicitors may be able to help you claim compensation.
Whether it was a police dog or a dog belonging to a member of the public, if the person in charge of the animal failed to control it then you should call us free on 0800 2800 094 to discuss your case.