'Zero Tolerance' as Youth Convicted of Attacking Police Dog

Friday, 9 February 2024

A Calderdale youth who kicked a police dog in the face has been given a 12-month Detention Order after being convicted in what is believed to be the first successful prosecution of its kind in West Yorkshire.

The 17-year-old male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested after officers were called to a burglary at a shop on Market Street, Halifax, in the early hours of July 11 last year.

An officer from West Yorkshire Police’s Dog Section attended in order to locate the male, who had fled the scene but was believed to be nearby.

After being located, the male then attacked Police Dog Zero as officers tried to arrest him.

Zero suffered injuries to her face as a result of the attack and needed treatment.  

Appearing before Bradford Youth Court on January 15, the youth was convicted of a number of offences, including burglary and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

He was given a 12-month Detention Order and four-month youth referral order.

Commenting on the case, Chief Inspector James Farrar of West Yorkshire Police’s Operational Support team and Head of the Dog Section, said: “This was a nasty attack on one of our beloved police dogs which resulted in her needing treatment for injuries to her face.

“We take the welfare of our working animals very seriously and, as with our officers, none of them deserve to be assaulted in the line of duty. I’m pleased that the court has taken a dim view of this attack.

“PD Zero is now back to full strength and is due to take part in the Regional Police Dog trials later this year’’

The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act came into force in 2019 to protect service animals such as police dogs and horses. It prevents those who attack or injure service animals from claiming self-defence. The law is known as Finn's Law, after a Hertfordshire Police dog who was stabbed whilst pursuing a suspect with his handler.


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