Cleveland Police have today caused outrage after confirming a Police Dog will be put to sleep following an elderly woman in Middlesbrough being bitten in her own home on Penrith Road, Park End, Middlesbrough.
The German Shepherd Police Dog was carrying out the job it does and was completing a crime search of a lady called Irene Collins garden. The Police Dog was searching with her permission when it entered her unsecured property.
The force has today been criticised for putting the dog down prior to the completion of an Independent Police Complaints Commission Investigation.
Senior Officers and Officers at the scene and those coordinating the incident from the control room should take accountability for this incident instead of using the Police Dog as an escape goat.
The door to the property Irene was in was not secured allowing the dog to freely enter the property, possibly believing Irene was the offender of the crime in which was occurring.
Officers at the scene should have ensured Irene had secured her door before allowing a Police Dog to search the garden or ensured the property was secured before allowing the dog to search the scene as common sense and a top priority before letting a dog trained to bite and detain crime suspects loose.
Cleveland Police should take responsibility for this act at a senior level and not allow the dog to take full responsibility for this incident.
Sadly Irene died days later in a tragic operational incident that was not controlled by the Police Dog in question, A dog that was just doing the job that it was trained to do.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is currently investigating the incident, with Cleveland Police themselves deciding the dog should be destroyed, without the completion of an investigation.
We believe Cleveland Police should be accountable for these actions and not that of a Police Dog who was freely allowed to enter a property where it was known an elderly frail female was within the property.
It is an absolute tragedy that this dog will now be put to sleep, If this dog was in-fact not suitable for operational policing how was a dangerous dog signed off for operational duties and continued to pass yearly training that assesses if a Police Dog is suitable for operational duties.
It is an absolute tragedy that an innocent woman has sadly lost her life, our thoughts are with her family and friends and the dog handler in question who will now feel guilt and responsibility for the incident and loose a close member of his family.