Dog use in gang culture

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-10-22
Session date: 
October 22, 2014
Reference: 
2014/3563
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Londoners are concerned by the number of 'weapon' dogs used by gangs, in streets, parks and estates across the city.  You made no reference to dogs in your Gangs and Youth Violence strategy published this year. What work have you done on this specific issue since the publication of your Weapon Dogs report in 2009?

Answer

Answer for Dog use in gang culture

Answer for Dog use in gang culture

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Between February - April 2014 MOPAC undertook an extensive three month consultation with approximately 300 individuals and organisations, to inform the Strategic Ambitions for London: Gangs and Serious Youth Violence. Those Londoners who took part in the consultation did not raise weapon dogs in relation to gangs as a priority.

I understand that the MPS conducted analysis on Dangerous Dog Offences between April 2013 and April 2014 and this showed a slight decrease in reported offences from the preceding 12 months (1024 offences compared to 1106.) There was no clear correlation between known gang territories and offence hotspots. The most common reason for offending related to irresponsible dog ownership where the dog was not properly controlled, rather than the dogs being specifically used as weapons.

Further to MQ 3562 / 2014, recent changes to legislation will assist the police's ability to respond.

I am continuing to lobby the Government regarding consolidating legislation relating to dangerous and aggressive dogs; this includes introducing tougher sentences for using a dog as a weapon, having a dog that is out of control or owning a banned breed.