March 13th, 2011

Land sharks can cost

Posted in The Job - General by 200

Freedom of Information requests by the BBC ‘You and Yours’ programme have revealed that police forces up & down the county have paid out £770,000 compensation in the last 3 years to people who have been bitten by police dogs.

A report in the Telegraph says that one person received £49,000. The report doesn’t give any circumstances under which the people were bitten other than to say that 2,727 people were suspects, 155 were other members of the public &  196 were police officers and staff. West Midlands Police seem to have the hungriest dogs; they reported 644 bites over the last 3 years among 8 forces with over 100 bites each.

I’m not sure what the report is saying really. I’d guess that some of the bites were justified & some weren’t. Let’s hope the cash just went to the unjustified ones. (bites that is, not people)

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  1. Kev says:

    I haven’t seen many people being bitten by police dogs but every one I did see went to great lengths to make it happen to them….forcing their way through police cordons….getting chased in a stolen car then running away when they crash and not stopping when the handler shouts “Police officer with a dog. Stop or I will release the dog”….really, what do these people think will happen?

    Incidentally……South Australia Police are recruiting from the UK again.

    March 14th, 2011 at 05:46

  2. Tom says:


    There is something primeval about confronting a bundle of fur, muscle and teeth, utterly unconcerned with reasoning, bribary and the human rights act, but doing what it has been trained to go and with considerable gusto.

    If a ‘doggy’ handler warns you that he will ‘release’ his dog ask yourself the following questions:

    1. Why am I in a felonious confrontation with the police?

    2. I really should drop to the ground, to prevent the hound of the Baskervilles gnawing on my extremities!

    Simples really.

    March 14th, 2011 at 08:20

  3. ruf says:

    My one experience of landsharks in action was several years ago.

    My dad (and later I) used to help set off the fireworks and light the bonfire that was paid for by the staff association at the local nuclear research site.
    Needless to say the UKAEAC (which dates it a bit) always stopped by and said hello while we were setting up (they helped direct the massive amounts of traffic away from the site afterwards).
    They also trained some of their dogs there back then and this particular slobber-monster was a bit new.

    He’d got the running at people down pat, along with jumping and knocking people down. Fortunately for me, he’d not quite mastered using his teeth to do it so he only flattened me by jumping at me, and then proceeded to try and lick me to death.

    His handler was very apologetic about it, after he’d got the dog back under control (and I’d wiped the drool off of my face).

    March 14th, 2011 at 13:52

  4. Tony says:

    As with complaints of handcuff ‘nerve injury’ – its cheaper for the Force to pay out than fight (and win) in Court. MPs make the law so this one is largely down to them.

    March 14th, 2011 at 16:26

  5. Fee says:

    I agree with Tony – it’s often cheaper just to pay out, BUT it’s still wrong. The message sent to the general public is, “Threaten to sue and they’ll pay out without too much of a fight”. This gravy train, like all the others, is likely to hit the buffers quite soon. Quite simply, there’s no money in the pot at the moment, and what there is should be spent a lot more wisely.

    March 14th, 2011 at 18:10

  6. Civ_In_The_City says:

    Ruf, you don`t say how you felt when the dog went for you, or how long it took you to realise you were in more danger of drowning than getting eaten. Be honest, did you scream, a bit?

    £770,000 over 3 years, for 3000-odd people averages at £250 quid each. I`d be happy with £250 for a straightforward single chomp. Wouldn`t like to know what I have to lose to get £49,000.

    Any more than a single chomp and I`d make sure I got my compensation direct from Fido, badge or no badge.

    March 14th, 2011 at 18:11

  7. Ruf says:

    I have to confess that I probably would have screamed if I’d had the chance, I didn’t have time before impact and I’d had the air (and arguably the sense) knocked out of me afterwards.

    Some of the other lads were shouting and screaming, partly because of my predicament (until it was obvious that I wasn’t about to become doggy chow) but mostly because I was carrying our one crate of pale ale when it happened.

    If I’d had the time then I think that I’d have gone for raw primal terror, more catatonic than screaming, but definitely not offering resembling effective resistance. Being bitten might have changed that, but who can tell…

    March 15th, 2011 at 00:21

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