Dog Attacks (853A/23)
- Please can you tell me how many instances were the police called as a result of a dog attack from 1st January 2022 to 1st May 2023 (inclusive).
- Please also tell me in how many of those cases the dog in question was destroyed, either on-scene or after the fact.
Please split the data up by month and year.
Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide all this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).
However, although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to question 2 of your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see as follows). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.
Q2. West Midlands Police destroyed 201 dogs in the time period 01/01/22 to 01/05/23, either on-scene or after the fact with the owners agreement, or in accordance with a court order.
REASON FOR DECISION
Regarding question 1, it is not possible to determine the number of instances the police were called as a result of a dog attack, without manually going into every incident log with a ‘Dangerous Dog’ header and assessing the detail of the log. This is because the ‘Dangerous Dog’ header does not just specifically relate to dog attacks. However, hundreds of logs with a Dangerous Dog header are created every month and it is estimated that for the period in question, this could involve a review of at least 3,500. This means that even if we were to allow ourselves only two to three minutes search time per log, this would still equate to a search that would take around 150 hours and therefore, far exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).
This means that the cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.
Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: