The BBC are reporting that six-year-old Phoebe Malone has been bitten by a police dog while officers were chasing a suspect in Manchester. Phoebe was outside playing with friends at about 8pm on 1st September 2015 when she was bitten on both legs. The dog had been released by police as they pursued a man who ran away after a stolen car crashed into a wall in Newton Heath, Manchester. Her mother, Sarah Malone, said "I ran out and the next minute she was just sat on the chair and there was loads of police around her and she was just shaking." "She's got 10 wounds, two of them very deep, they said if it was two inches more, it could have gone for her arteries, so it was serious. "I'm still shocked," she added. "I just can't believe it's happened to a little girl, let alone my daughter." Mrs Malone said her daughter was "traumatised" and criticised police for releasing the dog close to where children play. She called for a review of the training for dog handlers. James McNally of Slee Blackwell Solicitors is an expert in dog bite law and has recovered thousands of pounds of personal injury compensation for dog bite victims including many innocent bystanders attacked by police dogs "in the heat of the moment". Says James : "Unfortunately incidents like this are all too common and in fact Greater Manchester Police are one of the worst offenders paying out the most in compensation of all the UK forces. We are currently involved in several cases where police dogs have caused injury to innocent bystanders including a pedestrian bitten on the genitals while walking home from work and a young boy who was attacked when he was trying to tell the police where the suspect they were chasing was hidden. One of our client's suffered quite severe bites while walking home when a police dog being exercised on nearby waste ground got away from his handler. Records would appear to show that this is the second time this particular dog has attacked an innocent bystander." Figures released in 2014 showed 150 dog attacks on innocent bystanders over a three year period. "These type of claims are not straightforward because the general view is that the dogs are just "doing their job" and it would be wrong for the force to be penalised especially if it makes them more reluctant to use dogs to pursue suspects in the future. It can also be often very difficult to obtain the relevant information from the police force in question. However in claims that succeed what we find is that either the dog handler has not dealt with things in the appropriate way or there are warning signs in the dog's previous behaviour and training which have been ignored. In cases like these there is no reason why the victim should not be entitled to compensation. However as I say these type of claims are not straightforward and it is important that a specialist experienced solicitor is instructed so they know exactly what they need to prove to win the claim." If you have been a victim of a dog attack by a police dog James McNally can offer assistance on a No Win No Fee basis. Contact 08081391601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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