We are seeing more and more cases where dog bites reported to the police will be dealt with by way of a Community Resolution Order (CRN) or Community Protection Notice (CPN). These are sometime referred to as a "Dogbo" because of their similarity to the human equivalent "ASBO" (Anti-Social Behaviour Order).
Community Resolution Orders and Community Protections Notices are available to Police to deal quickly and efficiently with lower risk crime.
The policy wording states:
It is primarily aimed at first time offenders/wrongdoers where genuine remorse has been expressed and where the victim has agreed that they do not want the police to take more formal action…[The] objective is to empower victims and place them at the heart of the criminal justice system.
Policy Document: 1091/2018
Basically a CPR is an agreement between the offender/wrongdoer and the victim with the Police acting as the go-between. The victim is agreeing that they are happy not to take matters any further and in return the offender/wrongdoer is agreeing to give something back in return. This can be writing a letter of apology, reimbursing the victim for financial loss or in the case of dog owners agreeing (for example) to keep a dog muzzled or on a lead at all times. Police like them as they save time and a lot of Dog Bite Victims agree to them as they don't want to go through possible criminal proceedings. Many tell us that they agree a CPR is approrpaite as they don't want the guilt of having the dog destroyed.
Some people might take a view that a CPR is allowing the dog owner off the hook. But this isn't really the case because the existence of a CPR/CPN can have important reprecussions for any future legal proceedings.
The fact that a CPR has been entered into is recorded and if it is not complied with then the Police can revert to making an arrest and dealing with the incident through the normal criminal justice process.
The fact that the offender /wrongdoer has failed to complete the outcome can be disclosed as part of any subsequent Court case and any comments by the offender/wrongdoer during the CR process made under caution can be used in the prosecution case.
The above relates to criminal proceedings but in the same way when considering a Letter of Claim or issuing Proceedings Dog Bite Solicitors will rely on the fact that a CPR has been entered into as proof of an admission of fault.
Doh Owners will often try and run a defence that they didn't agree with what they were being accused of and thought that the alleged victim was lying or exaggerating but thought they should agree to a CPR rather than face the risk of further proceedings. However we take a view that this is a weak argument. As far as the law is concerned acceptance of a CPR or CPN is acceptance of the allegations being made against you.
Again the policy documents relating to CPRs and CPNs are quite clear:
It requires the full consent of both parties and a full admission of liability to the offence by the offender.
Policy Document: 1091/2018
Accepting and CPR or CPN means that any dog owner doing so has made a full admission of liability. This means that it will be very difficult to raise any kind of defence to a Personal Injury or Civil claim. It can't be alleged that the incident didn't happen or that the dog bite victim was at fault in some way because of the full admission of liability.
The existence of a CPR or CPN can therefore be of vital importance to any dog bite personal injury claim.
If you have been the victim of a dog bite or dog injury then contact Dog Bite Solicitors for a free case assessment today. Ring 0808 139 1601.