The postman’s union has rejoiced today, after the Government announced new proposals that will hopefully combat the danger of killer dogs.
The Communication Workers Union, or CWU, has praised the Government for recognising the very real danger that these dangerous dogs pose to people, particularly postmen. These new proposals will recommend much harsher sentences for the owners of these dogs. Currently, the sentence for the owner of a dog who injures or kills someone else stands at a maximum of two years.
If these new propositions come into effect, the sentencing will be changed so that the owner of any dog who injures a person or kills a guide dog could serve a maximum of 10 years in prison. In addition, the owner of the dog who kills a human will then serve a minimum of two years in prison, and could potentially be given a life sentence.
Of course, the problem with dangerous dogs goes much further than the postal service. It is estimated that up to 200,000 people are bitten every single year in England alone, costing the NHS approximately £3 million. In addition, there have been 16 fatal dog attacks since 2005, including the tragic death of 14-year-old Jade Anderson, who was attacked and killed by a gang of five dogs in Wigan earlier this year.
The health and safety officer of the CWU, Dave Joyce, said “Current sentencing arrangements do not match the serious nature of the offences. Sixteen people have been killed since 2005 by dogs, yet the maximum prison sentence is just two years. Only one person has ever been imprisoned for a dog attack on a postal worker and as the fatality rate from dog attacks grows, sentencing must get tougher”.