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Met police dealing with one dangerous dog a day

The Metropolitan Police Service is dealing with at least one dangerous dog every day, new figures released under freedom of information law reveal.

Police data shows the force seized 479 out-of-control dogs last year under the Dangerous Dogs Act, up from 333 in 2021 and 336 in 2019. The Met police has already seized 154 dogs as of the start of May this year.

The figures show that seizures of some breeds, most notably the American bully, have become increasingly common in the past few years.

The Met has seized 44 American bullies so far this year, almost three times the next most common breed – the Staffordshire bull terrier crossbreed – of which 16 have been seized. In 2018 and 2019, no American bullies were seized by the Met.

In addition, there was also a large rise last year in the number of people dying as a result of dog attacks. Typically, about three people a year die from dog-related incidents in England and Wales, but 10 people were killed in 2022, and four people have been killed in 2023 so far.

Deputy Chief Constable Robert Carden told The Guardian: “There is anecdotal evidence from rehoming centres that they are seeing a rise in dogs with behavioural problems being handed in. It is difficult to know the reasons for this but it could be attributed to dogs bought during lockdown who missed out on key socialisation and have then become too difficult to handle in maturity.

“There are now police officers in all regions of the country focusing on dangerous dogs and dog attacks, working with officers on the ground to ensure that investigations are launched when it is appropriate and proportionate to do so.”

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