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Dog Attacks by Bully XLs - 988/23

Date Responded 31 July 2023

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:

We are conducting research on the scale of dog attacks attributed to Bully XLs in the UK. We will be compiling this data nationally and we are happy to share the results with you in advance of publication.  

Please could we have:

Q1: The number of dog attacks that have been recorded by your force? Please have this broken down annually, by breed and by any categorisation you might give for those attacks over the past 5 years.

Q2: The number of dogs seized by your force (dogs that are out of control, aggressive, have attacked someone/an animal or are considered dangerous) over the past 5 years? Broken down annually, by your categorisation and by breed.

(If you would like to save time compiling the above, we would only like data from dogs which are related to the Bully XL: American Bully, Staffy Cross or any type of Bully cross)

Q3: Has your force written to Central Government expressing concerns over the rise of attacks attributed to Bully XLs?  

Q4: Is there anything you’d like to add about the views of your force when it comes to the rise of Bully XL attacks?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Corporate Development and Operations Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held in part by Northumbria Police.

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



















Data from 01/07/2018 to 30/06/2023

2. The following is data for dogs confirmed as banned breeds by year. Not every dog seized is examined for breed type and therefore the data cannot be more specific, All of the dogs below were confirmed as Pit Bull Terrier Type after examination by a Northumbria Police Dog Legislation Officer. In addition, not all banned breeds are seized, Northumbria Police uses the exemption scheme where appropriate:






2023 up to May 1st - 4

3. and 4. I can confirm that the information you have requested on Questions 3 and 4 of your request is not held by Northumbria Police.  We can find no information that meets the criteria of your submission.

The below should be noted when viewing the figures above:

  • 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.
  • The below caveats are applicable specifically for Q.1:
  • The data has been taken from System where the offence was 'Owner or person in charge allowing dog to be dangerously out of control in any place in England or Wales (whether or not a public place) injuring any person or assistance dog';
  • There were 2,661 such offences in the time frame 01/07/2018 to 30/06/2023.  We do not record the breed of the dog, however if we use the keyword 'bull' in the MO text, there were 103 returns in the period requested;
  • As with any keyword search, the search will only return exact matches within the Crime MO. This does not account for differences in terminology and/or spelling used. Also, we cannot search the crime investigation screens/additional information screens, if the terms are not used within the MO the crime will not be identified.  The MO search is limited to the first 242 characters of the MO, any information beyond that will not be searched;
  • The 103 MO texts were reviewed to establish if it was the Bull type dog that caused the injury.
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