MATTHEW Ellis, Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire, is calling for a change in the law to help protect police dogs from being attacked in the line of duty.
Currently, assaults on police dogs are viewed in law in the same way as causing damage to property.
Mr Ellis was interviewed on two national television stations about the issue last week after Police Dog Finn and his handler was stabbed and seriously injured in Hertfordshire.
He said: “I talked last week about better protection for police animals that support our officers – dogs and, in certain parts of the country, horses too.
“I’ve watched police dogs train and am utterly outraged that the law suggests that they are property – that if you hurt or even kill a police dog it is seen as damage to property – the equivalent to kicking a car panel.
“I’m very supportive of strengthening the law in this area. Let’s make it an aggravated offence and a potential prison term if you harm a police animal.
“We need to understand how we can protect police animals better to make sure that the penalty is strong enough to stop people harming those animals who put their heart and soul into keeping people safe. Let’s debate this in Parliament and get some action now.”
The Commissioner has supported the Staffordshire Retired Police Dog fund. More information about the fund is available at http://staffsretiredpolicedogs.org/