A RECENT study has shown that the public is still divided as to whether dangerous dogs are used for criminal activity.
A recent report suggested that Pitbull-types are among a growing number of dogs used by criminals as ‘tools’ and protection.
A number of recent incidents involving criminals and the so-called ‘dangerous dogs’ have highlighted the problem further, and indeed the growing problem of where the dogs are being bred.
A man was sentenced to five years in prison last after he set his dog on a police officer sent to a Manchester crime scene. "I went into the address and was confronted by a man who was trying to intimidate me with a dog," says Sergeant Chris Allsop, of the Greater Manchester Police. "The dog started jumping for my face, trying to bite me. We've noticed there's a very large increase in calls coming in from the public to say this is occurring
The RSPCA, the Metropolitan Police Authority, local authority dog warders and vets all think there is a growing problem with the criminal use of dangerous dogs. Mark Callis, a senior dog control officer at Wandsworth Borough Council, says local rival gangs use them to settle scores.
"They just meet up with another gang, put these two dogs into a play pen or a tennis court or something like that and let them fight to see who wins and they decide who is the superior gang on who's got the better dog," he explains.
He also says the animals are being used to intimidate the public.
As yet here are no official statistics to gauge the extent of the problem.