Police Dog Bites

In August 2011 Mr B was arrested by Police officers in Warwickshire after a shop window had been broken. He was the worse for the amount of alcohol he had drunk and was detained by passers by who probably thought that this was part of the summer riots. At Court he pleaded guilty to a number of offences in relation to the shop. When Police officers arrived he was handcuffed and placed in a Police car. He was then transferred to a Police van by two officers one of whom was a Dog Handler. Mr B sought our advice as he ended up being bitten by the Police dog several times. Mr B was the first to admit that his actions were wrong, that he deserved to be arrested and subsequently charged with the offences. He did however allege that whilst in the car and then when on the floor outside of the car being transferred to the van and handcuffed he was bitten. The Police are entitled to use reasonable force to arrest a suspect and it seemed unlikely that someone who was handcuffed would be so difficult to restrain that a Police dog would need to be set upon him. We wondered whether Mr B had a poor recollection of the incident because of his alcohol consumption. Nonetheless 8 bites from the dog did seem excessive, particularly as the dog should be under the handlers control so we agreed to investigate on a no win no fee basis. We made enquiries with the local council and discovered that they had CCTV of the area where the incident happened. Having obtained it we could see that Mr B was indeed handcuffed and removed from the Police car and placed on the floor presumably awaiting the arrival of the van. Whilst on the floor the dog is seen to approach Mr B. Insurers on behalf of the Police admitted a breach of duty and Mr B was awarded compensation for the dog bite injuries.