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Dog attacks/bites (786A/22)


The number of phone calls made to the force reporting incidents of dog attacks/dog bites categorised by breed for the period 12/06/2017-12/06/2022.


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide 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 your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached file 786A_22_attachment.pdf). 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.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.


We have markers on our incident recording systems to determine those relating to ‘dangerous dogs’. However, although many of these incidents will relate to dog attacks / bites, some will not (e.g. aggressive looking dog loose…). Therefore, in order to determine the number of reports of dog attacks / bites, we would need to manually go into each incident with a ‘dangerous dog’ marker. This however would involve examining thousands of records and such a search would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

Additionally, it is not possible to determine the breed of the dog involved in each reported incident, without manually going into each of the cases as described above (and even then, this detail might not be recorded). This however would similarly involve a trawl of thousands of records and such a search would 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: