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The Met Gone Mad - Enid the Not-Dangerous Dog

This is Enid, a cross between a Staffie and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. She is NOT a pit bull and she is NOT dangerous. She has never even LOOKED at anyone the wrong way.

In March 2012, her owner was walking her along the South Circular when a policeman pulled up and asked what breed she was. When the owner told him, the policeman insisted that she was a pit bull and that he could be arrested for owning a dangerous dog. The policeman went on to gesture at the dog with fast arm movements meant to provoke a response. There was none. However, the owner was asked to give his telephone number and told that the dog squad would be in touch. The man heard nothing more until weeks later.

In a manner which is becoming typical of the Metropolitan Police, officers did not telephone the owner, rather they visited his home, unannounced. Naturally, he was not there. They left no message to say they had called. Apparently they repeated this process EIGHT TIMES. They also visited his place of work, leaving him to be told by others that they had done so. At this point, the owner went to the police station and was told by staff that they had "no record" of a visit. Now are you reaching the same conclusion as I am? That the police were attempting to make this man look as though he was avoiding them? After all, that is how a criminal would behave!

On 2 April 2012, the police raided the owner's neighbours in an attempt to find him. The neighbours phoned him and he agreed to meet the police at his place of work, where he was arrested for possession of a dangerous dog.

The owner is a member of Dog's Trust and already had Third Party Insurance for his dog. He regularly exercises his dogs, takes them to the vets and they are microchipped. Neither was there any evidence at all of the dog being dangerous. However, the police insisted on taking the matter to court. The judge himself expressed disapproval that the case had been brought, but in order to avoid a long, drawn out court case, the owner was forced to "admit" to having a dangerous dog and agree to a number of terms. As he is self-employed he could little afford taking the time off work. The terms were that the dog be spayed, have special insurance and be muzzled in public.

Now, as a mother, I do understand that dogs can be dangerous. However I balk at the harassment of responsible dog owners and harmless dogs. I also regard this as a waste of tax-payers money given the amount of police time devoted to it. Neither does it escape my notice that the owner concerned runs a community web site. What better way to fetter someone's freedom of speech than to make them afraid of the police?

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