A young girl of just six years old was attacked this week by a police dog in Newton Heath, Manchester.
The Greater Manchester Police Dog Team were in pursuit of a criminal who had stolen a vehicle. The young girl named Phoebe Malone was kept in hospital over night after being repeatedly bitten on the legs during the incident.
Understandably her mother, Sarah Malone, is extremely distressed over the situation and is now calling for a review of the training for police dogs, and also criticised the police dog team for releasing the dog near to where children were playing.
“I’m still shocked. I just can’t believe it’s happened to a little girl, let alone my daughter. She’s got 10 wounds, two of them very deep, they said if it was two inches more, it could have gone for her arteries”
The police dog who was temporarily removed from active duty, has been reassessed by handlers and is now deemed fit for work. A spokesman for The Greater Manchester Police Dog Team said:
“Shortly after 7:55pm on Tuesday 1 September 2015, police began a pursuit of a stolen Fiat Punto on Briscoe Lane, Newton Heath before a short time later the car crashed into a wall on nearby Blackstone Walk and the driver ran away.
“A police dog was deployed to pursue the offender and during the chase a 6-year-old girl was unfortunately bitten. The girl was taken to hospital to be treated for her injuries.
“An automatic referral has been made to the Greater Manchester Police Professional Standards Branch.”
Although these incidents involving the police are thankfully extremely rare, an article from The Guardian claims that hospital admissions for dog related injuries are up 76% in England over the past 10 years. Within the 12 months from March 2014 to February this year, there were a total of 7,227 hospital admissions for dog bites or attacks.
Of these statistics, children under the age of 10 were most likely to be admitted to hospital having been attacked by a dog, with 1,159 requiring impatient treatment.
Whilst these statistics are alarming, in the past few years a series of dramatic measures have been put on place in order to prevent these injuries from occurring. The maximum sentence for allowing a dog to fatally attack someone in England and Wales under the Dangerous Dog Act (DDA) has risen from two years, to 14.
Changes have also been made on how victims of dog attacks can make a claim, you can now make a claim regardless of whether you are on the dog owners property or not.
A dog owner can now also be fined up to £20,000 for allowing their dog to become out of control in public. Evidently strict measures are now in place to protect the public from harm, although, as experienced solicitors we still regularly put together strong personal injury claims on behalf of victims of dog bites.
Many animal charities, including The Dogs Trust say that more needs to be done in order to prevent these injuries happening. With PDSA claiming that prevention is key in order to avoid these attacks happening.
For more on dog bites and making claims in order to compensate for the injuries caused, contact Sheldon Davidson and speak to one of our expert personal injury solicitors for advice
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