PCC backs Service Animals (Offences) Bill
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has written to
the government urging it to support a new law aimed at protecting
The Bill, more commonly referred to as 'Finn's Law', is due to
start its second reading in Parliament later this week on the
27th April. Remarkably, at the moment, attacking a
police dog would be classed as criminal damage which carries a
maximum sentence of 3 months imprisonment. The new law will mean
that people can be sentenced for up to five years.
There are currently 84 working service dogs in the West
Midlands. The Dog Unit breeds and trains dogs for service and sale
across the country. This law would ensure these dogs are better
protected from violent criminals.
The campaign for 'Finn's Law' was launched in the wake of the
stabbing of police dog Finn in Hertfordshire in 2016. Finn suffered
serious stab wounds to his head and chest while protecting his
handler, who was also injured during the incident.
Pledging his support to the law change, the West Midlands Police
and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: "I am struck by the
courage and commitment demonstrated by both PC Wardell and the
police dog Finn. In particular the fierce loyalty on display and
the intense bond which connects an officer to his dog is
"I feel it is time for service dogs to be afforded the full
protection of the law. These dogs are involved in extremely
dangerous police operations. To merely see such animals as pieces
of equipment, as the law currently does, is deplorable when
considering the many dangerous situations they enter into in the
line of duty."
On occasion our dogs are injured whilst helping to catch
criminals. Such crimes would be punished with the full weight of
the law were they committed against an officer. It is high time
that the government rethinks how it ensures animals that are
trained to protect the public are kept safe.