The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed the government’s backing of a new law aimed at protecting police dogs. The campaign was named after the police dog Finn who was bred in the West Midlands Police dog unit based in Balsall Common. He has urged them to not delay in ensuring the new bill is passed.

The Bill, commonly referred to as ‘Finn’s Law’, was due to start its second reading in Parliament 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.

It also removes a current provision for someone to claim self-defence if they have harmed a service animal.
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.

Welcoming the government’s support for Finns Law, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: “It is pleasing to see that the government will seek to close the current loophole in existing legislation. It is important that the government do not delay in passing this law.”

“Our service 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.”

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