Police dogs

Michael Traill made this Freedom of Information request to Lothian and Borders Police

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The request was successful.

Michael Traill

Dear Lothian & Borders Police,

This communication should be considered as a request for information submitted in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

I have become aware from other forces in the UK that records are kept in relation to incidences of people getting bitten by their Police dogs. I’m hoping your force keeps a similar record.

From (and including) January 2009 to (and including) March 2010 how many incidents have been recorded where a Police dog has bitten someone, either intentionally or unintentionally?*.

For each incidence of a Police dog occurring I would like to know the following if it is available:

Month & year of bite of bite;
Person bitten, (Ie, Suspect, Police staff (officers, Police civilians), Member of the public);
Age of the bite victim;
Sex of the bite victim;
Position of bite on body;

Further, for the Period January 2009 to March 2010 inclusive I would like to know how much the Force has paid out in compensation as a result of claims/complaints/comments made about a person being bitten by a Police dog and how many payouts were made. (IE: £25,000 in 3 payouts.)

* I would define intentionally as a bite being carried on the orders of its handler and unintentionally being when a bite is carried out without being ordered by its handler.

If you require clarification on any aspect I would be grateful if you could contact me via the whatdotheyknow.com website.

I hope that you will be able to fulfil my request in order to present yourselves as acting in an open and accountable manner as one would expect from a publicly funded body.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Traill

Lothian and Borders Police

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Traill


Thank you for your email received 07 April 2010 regarding Police dog bites.

Please find attached a spreadsheet detailing the information you requested broken down by month from January 2009 to March 2010.
In this I have also included:

* Month, year of the bite
* Details of person bitten
* Age of the victim
* Sex of the victim
* Position of the bite on body

Please note that the age of the victim is the age at the time of the incident and not current age. Where the year of birth is not recorded, I have replaced it with the term 'unknown'.

There have been no reports from police officers or police staff regarding bites, attacks or injuries sustained from police dogs within the timeframe requested.
Finally, I can confirm that Lothian and Borders Police have not paid out any compensation claims within the above timeframe for dog bites.

If you have any questions about the above or I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me again. However, under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, you have the right to appeal if you are dissatisfied with the way in which we have dealt with your enquiry. This should be done within 40 working days of receiving this email. If you wish to appeal please contact Rachel Watson, Head of Force Information Unit, Lothian and Borders Police, Police Headquarters, Fettes Avenue, Edinburgh, EH4 1RB. Please note that subsequent to this internal review there is a right of appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Yours Sincerely

Paul Wallace
Force Information Unit
Lothian and Borders Police

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