Meeting London’s Current and Future Policing Needs (Supplementary) [12]

Session date: 
December 9, 2014
Question By: 
Kit Malthouse
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives

Question

Anyway, just another specialist unit, you mentioned dangerous dogs and I wondered, given the pressures that you are going to be under, whether you will be able to maintain or indeed increase your activity around dangerous dogs, not least because my perception is the problem is not going away?

Answer

Answer for Meeting London’s Current and Future Policing Needs (Supplementary) [12]

Answer for Meeting London’s Current and Future Policing Needs (Supplementary) [12]

No.  First of all, having said that, I do not think we are going to stop doing things, it has to be a risk for two reasons, it is not that expensive in terms of rosters, they have an inspector, a sergeant and about five constables, it is not big by any standards.  The cost really is the cost of kennelling.  Last year we spent £1.5 million on kennelling about 300 dogs, and this year it is about 350.  I am told that the last 12 months compared to the previous has seen about a 20% rise in the number of dogs we have taken.  To your point, it looks like we are getting more reports.  The cost of kennelling is huge and we do not seem to be able to recover it.  That is where the challenge lies I think.  Of course the officers’ salary is a not insignificant thing to think about, therefore I do not think we are taking our foot off the pedal and clearly the public are reporting it.  We have seen some horrible cases where people have been badly injured.

 

Kit Malthouse AM:  You anticipate a similar effort going forward?  This is not one of the areas --

 

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM (Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis):  At the moment it is not something on our list.  I mean frankly, whether we did it or we did not, it would not make any difference to the size of the task that we are embarked on with £800 million, however nobody has come forward and said, “You must get rid of the Dangerous Dogs Unit”.  However I think they have only been thinking about the number of officers in it.  This tale of cost around the kennelling, where we should be able to recover it from the owners, however at the moment that is not straightforward.