Police record 34% increase in dog attacks in Wales and England according BBC investigation
Dog attacks in England and Wales have increased by over a third in the past five years, according to a BBC investigation.
There were nearly 22,000 reported cases of out-of-control dogs causing injury in 2022, compared to just over 16,000 in 2018.
This increase is in contrast to the estimated 15% rise in the UK’s dog population during the same period.
The BBC’s findings are based on 37 responses to Freedom of Information requests made to all 43 police forces.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) says forces across the UK have been focusing on attacks.
Police say they seen more reports of dangerous dogs as a result of specific work by specialist officers.
Data obtained through Freedom of Information requests show that North Wales Police recorded 460 reports of dog attacks in 2022, indicating a 31% rise from the 325 cases reported in 2020.
In Flintshire, 108 attacks were reported between January 2021 and December 2022.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has stated that police forces across the UK have been focusing on dog attacks.
However, it should be noted that not all incidents are recorded in police data; for example, dog attacks on other animals or nuisance and anti-social behaviour.
The number of dogs removed from their owners by police in England and Wales has also risen, with nearly 3,500 dogs seized in 2022 across 33 force areas – a 36% increase from 2018.
The reasons for these seizures vary, with most animals being deemed “out of control.”
Responding to the findings, Deputy Chief Constable Rob Carden, the NPCC’s lead for Response, sought to reassure members of the public, stating that the police take the matter seriously and are ”cracking down on those who own or breed dangerous dogs.”
He urged anyone who knows of dangerous dog ownership to contact the police.
The vet charity PDSA estimates that there has been a 15% increase in dog numbers across the UK, from 8.9 million in 2018 to 10.2 million in 2022.
Dr Rachel Casey – director of canine behaviour and research at the animal welfare charity, Dogs Trust – says dog aggression normally happens because of anxiety or worry.
“Their ears might go back and their body posture changes. Owners need to be able to identify these signs.”
She says if someone wants to get a dog, they should get one that suits their lifestyle – rather than just because they like a particular breed.
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com