Dog Trainers,  Industry News

Dog attacks reported to police up 34% in England and Wales

The number of dog attacks recorded by police in England and Wales has risen by more than a third in the past five years, a BBC investigation reveals.

The data shows that last year there were nearly 22,000 cases of out-of-control dogs causing injury, compared to just over 16,000 in 2018. The UK’s dog population is estimated to have risen by only 15% in that time.

The BBC’s findings are based on 37 responses to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made to all 43 police forces.

Dogs that cause death or injury to a person or an assistance dog must be recorded by police, but other incidents, for example a dog attacking another animal, or nuisance and anti-social dogs, don’t have to be. As a result, these may not be included in the FOI figures.

In addition, the number of dogs removed from their owners by police has risen, according to the data obtained by the BBC. Nearly 3,500 dogs were seized in 2022 across 33 force areas – up 36% from 2018 figures.

Paul Jameson, a specialist dog legislation officer for South Yorkshire Police, told the BBC: “It’s busier than we’ve ever known.

The BBC was also not possible to include comparable data for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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