Cost-Cutting And Meddling With The Law – A Dangerous Combination

Police forces struggling to make 20 per cent cuts face spiralling costs to pay for caging “devil dogs” under the Government’s crackdown, ministers have admitted.

But don’t worry! Our useless government has a plan!

Agriculture minister Jim Paice said he hoped the figure would fall to about £1.1million a year as the number of prosecutions dropped.

He also claimed the costs would be offset by a £490,000 saving from allowing police to decide whether suspected dangerous dogs can remain with their owners during court cases.

Well, they’d never, ever prioritise their budgets over the public’s safety, would they? I mean, we’ve seen how much they value that of their own officers, after all.

Whew! I feel so much safer…

Labour MP Luciana Berger, who uncovered the bill using Parliamentary questions, said it was evidence of the Government’s “nonsensical approach” to tackling dangerous dogs.

Ms Berger said: “Their proposals do nothing to stop dog attacks happening in the first place, yet massively increase the cost of enforcement.”

Loathe as I am to agree with a Labour politician, she’s spot on.

We can expect to see far more of this:

A mum said she and her daughter were lucky not to have been seriously injured when they were attacked by a dog.

Michelle Jones had to fend off the Rottweiler with an umbrella, while her 12-year-old daughter Maddie hid behind her during the five-minute attack.

Given they had no injuries, and in the absence of any pictures of Mrs Jones looking like Sheena Queen Of The Jungle, I’m going to interpret ‘attack’ as ‘overly boisterous dog wanted to play’.

If it’d been a genuine attack, an umbrella wouldn’t have been much use. Still terrifying, unnecessary and totally unlawful, however. No-one should allow their dog to be at large, and out of control.

Michelle, 32, said: “It was really horrible, really terrifying and it felt like it lasted a lot longer than it probably did.

“I stood there yelling, crying, fighting the dog and screaming for help, but nobody came to help us.”

Eventually, Michelle said, the owner came and called for the dog and it ran off.

No mention of any apology? No remorse for the distress caused? Well, then, this is a job for the police!

Or….maybe not:

Sussex Police confirmed officers had been called to the incident at around 9am, and had visited both the victims and the owner of the animal.

A spokeswoman said officers “didn’t have any concerns” , so they gave advice to the owner around not letting the dog out on its own again and would not be taking further action.

It’s nice that they have ‘no concerns’ and that ‘advice to the owner’ is considered all that needs to be given.

Once hopes that the owner heeds it. It’d be terrible if one day the police had to knock on his door, eh?

As the news spreads through forces that taking action against a dangerous dog might entail costs, and there’s a get-out clause available, expect more cases of dog attacks, not fewer.

10 comments for “Cost-Cutting And Meddling With The Law – A Dangerous Combination

  1. Tattyfalarr
    May 15, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Urm…what has the agriculture minister got to do with policing ?

    • May 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

      Must… resist… temptation… to make… pig joke.

      • May 16, 2012 at 5:25 am


  2. SteveW
    May 15, 2012 at 9:05 am

    “Labour MP Luciana Berger, who uncovered the bill using Parliamentary questions” struck me as an odd quote. Are the contents of Bills put before the house not on the public record in any case? If so, why would it need to be ‘uncovered’?

    I am, of course, ignoring the fact that with 4116 new pieces of legislation passed last year (around 25 – 30 per day of sitting) that there’s no hope of any MPs actually reading the vast majority of it, leaving us with laws designed, written and passed by Whitehall instead.

    • May 15, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Good point – I wondered about that.

      • May 15, 2012 at 10:15 am

        It’s poor phrasing. They mean bill as in “the bill for this came to £x”, as in found out what the cost was by using parliamentary questions.

        • SteveW
          May 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

          Just re-read it with that in mind and it makes more sense – although fails to feed my paranoia 😉

          One would like to think that when discussing parliamentary procedures/activities that a journalist would be aware enough to steer clear of words like bill/act unless they meant Bill or Act.

          • Watchman
            May 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm

            Why would one think that – journalists seem to be primarily defined by ability to network/reproduce press releases nowadays…

            • SteveW
              May 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm

              Can’t argue with that, although I did only say one would ‘like’ to think that 🙂

  3. May 16, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Devil dogs? What, OoL admins?

Comments are closed.