There have been some reports in the press recently about dogs attacking either people or other dogs. The increasing number of dog attacks is partly down to the number of American Bully dogs. There is a petition to have them added to the banned list of dogs.
The law governing dogs classed as ‘dangerous’ is contained in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. There is also detailed guidance by DEFRA, which has been produced in partnership with the Association of Chief Police Officers, representatives from local authorities, and the RSPCA.
Generally, it is the police who take proceedings against owners of dangerous dogs. Under S3 of the 1991 Act, it is a criminal offence to allow ANY dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place or a place the dog is not allowed. The definition of “dangerously out of control” means the dog is causing fear or apprehension to a person that it might injure them. If an injury does occur, the offence is aggravated.
If a dog is dangerously out of control, the owner can be fined an unlimited amount and/or be imprisoned for up to six months; owners may not be allowed to keep a dog in the future and the dog may be destroyed. If a dog injures a person, then the owner can be sent to prison for up to five years and/or fined. If the dog is used to deliberately injure someone, then the charge can be malicious wounding. Allowing a dog to injure an assistance dog can result in a prison sentence of up to three years and/or a fine.
Local authorities can also take proceedings against the dog owners. Liaison with the local police will assist, with each police service having a strategy and policy for dealing with these dogs, to include identifying secure kennels to be contracted by the police to hold dogs seized.
Local authorities have sole responsibility for stray dogs under S68 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. This act also gives authorities powers, through dog control orders, to place restrictions on access to open spaces or to prevent such access, and the power to make owners keep their dogs on leads. For those who do not comply, the authority can issue a fixed penalty notice.
Dog control orders are seen to work well for dogs causing a nuisance within communities. It is helpful to have clear policies on dog control, including the sanctions which you will impose if, for example, tenants in housing association properties fail to adhere.
Acceptable behaviour contracts and anti-social behaviour orders can also be effective if members of the local community are using their dogs to intimidate or threaten; again, close liaison with the local police will be needed.
Nottingham City Council has an order in place restricting where dogs can be unleashed; failure to comply with this order makes a dog owner guilty of a criminal offence.
Some authorities have formed what are known as BARK — Borough Action for Responsible K9s. For example, Croydon has a BARK in conjunction with the local police and RSPCA. These forums help to tackle issues with dogs, from irresponsible ownership to the mistreatment of dogs. These groups visit local schools to talk about ownership and responsibility and care.
Dog ownership boomed during lockdown, so it is wise to have clear policies in place to help dog owners and to deal with any issues. Many authority websites have specific pages for dog issues, including forms to complete to notify the authority of a stray. After collecting a stray dog, it should be housed in a kennel until the owner is found. If no owner can be found, then the authorities often work with the local rescue charities to rehome the stray. Some authorities also have dog warden teams who work with the local community.
The Caterham incident has led to an action plan being drawn up by the local authority. Please speak to Angela Williams if you will be reviewing your risk assessments or reporting on limiting the number of dogs to be walked by professional dog walkers under your dog walker licensing scheme.
Law firm Browne Jacobson has collaborated with Wiltshire Council and Christ Church Business School on the launch event of The Council Company Best Practice and Innovation Network, a platform which brings together academic experts and senior local authority leaders, allowing them to share best practice in relation to council companies.
In the Autumn Statement delivered on 17 November, rises to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage rates were announced, to take effect from 1 April 2023.
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On 2 November 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the much awaiting case of Hillside Parks Ltd v Snowdonia National Park Authority  UKSC 30. The Court’s judgment suggests that the long established practice of using drop-in applications is in fact much more restricted than previously thought. This judgment therefore has significant implications for both the developers and local planning authorities.
In ‘failure to remove’ claims, the claimant alleges abuse in the family home and asserts that the local authority should have known about the abuse and/or that they should have removed the claimant from the family home and into care earlier.
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Updates include UK Shared Prosperity Fund, contracts, Subsidy Control Bill, data controller liability, Government Covid-19 procurement and Highway Code revisions.
The complex and rather nebulous transitional subsidy control regime set out in the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement and the UK’s wider international commitments has made it difficult for public authorities and those working with them to proceed with certainty where subsidies are involved.
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Created at the end of the Brexit transition period, Retained EU Law is a category of domestic law that consists of EU-derived legislation retained in our domestic legal framework by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This was never intended to be a permanent arrangement as parliament promised to deal with retained EU law through the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill (the “Bill”).
It is clear that the digital landscape, often termed cyberspace, is a man-made environment, in which human behaviour dominates and where technology both influences and aids our role in it — through the internet, telecoms and networked computer systems, which are often interdependent. The extent to which any organisation is potentially vulnerable to cyber-attack depends on how well these elements are aligned.
Three months on from the commencement of the new statutory Integrated Care Systems (ICS) Anja Beriro and Gerrard Hanratty reflect on the main themes and issues that have come from the new relationship between local government and health.
The Procurement Bill (the Bill) has now been with us for about four months, during which time there have been a huge number of amendments proposed in the House of Lords (circa 320). Lately, there has been less mention of it — unsurprising, really, given everything else going on in politics recently — but here’s a summary of some of the key issues and themes so far.
Browne Jacobson has been named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) Public Sector Legal Services Framework on Lot 1a – full-service provision (England and Wales) and Lot 2a – general service provision (England and Wales).
Browne Jacobson has been ranked as a Top Tier law firm in 25 key practice areas in Legal 500 UK 2023, the independent directory of comparative law firm performance. The firm also continues to underpin its status as one of the leading law firms in the East Midlands region with 16 Tier 1 rankings.