Date Responded 22 June 2021

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1. Is BWV currently used by dog handlers within your force?

2. When was it introduced and is it mandatory?

3. Please confirm the number of police dog bite incidents involving members of the public (including suspects and detainees) in the following periods: 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2019-20, 2020-21.

4. Please confirm the number of complaints made by the public regarding a police dog bite incident in the following periods: 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2019-20, 2020-21.

5. Please confirm the amount of money paid out in compensation to members of the public who have been bitten by a police dog in the following periods: 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2019-20, 2020-21.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Operations, Legal and Professional Standards Departments of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. Yes.

2. BWV was introduced in March 2019 and is mandatory for all General Purpose Dog deployments. We operate a ‘dog out – camera on’ policy on all live deployments.

3. Please find a response for each of the requested years (please note 2018-19 was not requested):

Year

Incidents

2013/14

25

2014/15

27

2015/16

26

2016/17

30

2017/18

25

2019/20

14

2020/21

21

2021*

5

 

* Data supplied to 24/05/21

4. Data has been checked for complaints made by the public regarding a police dog bite incident which have been recorded on the Centurion data base within the requested date parameters. It should be noted that this is a live system and may be subject to change after the initial extraction of data used for the purposes of this report (please note 2018-19 was not requested):

Year

Complaints

2013/14

5

2014/15

1

2015/16

1

2016/17

1

2017/18

2

2019/20

0

2020/21

3

 

5. 2013/14 - £2,000.00 in total

There have been no other payments made. This figure will not be broken down further.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

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