The results of a three year study into dangerous dogs entiteld "Unleashed: The phenomena of status dogs and weapon dogs" have been presented to the British Sociological Association annual conference by Dr Simon Harding a Middlesex University Crminologist and shows that they are seen as a valuable commodity among criminal gangs with prize pit bulls fetching up to £10,000. Dr Harding's view is that there is a clear link between violent crime and an increasing trade in dangerous dogs and that tough action is required as a result. Dr Harding carried out over 100 interviews, including with gang members, and found mastiffs, pit bulls and akitas were seen as business assets and that it was common practice for the dogs to be "built up" using vitamin supplements and even steroids. He found that dog owners who were arrested or had their dog's seized often had previous criminal convictions ranging from drug dealing to attempted murder. With regard to current dog laws Dr Harding said: "This issue has been talked about extensively without resolution. The Government and authorities need to get their fingers out and resolve the issue. No more excuses, more needs to be done proactively and we can't just wait for more victims of agressive dog attacks. I found that there was an increase in public anxiety, people are using parks and public spaces differently where these dogs are found, and these concerns are valid." Dr Harding believed that the increased number of dangerous dogs raised the risk of attack, particularly on children. His report confirms that since 1991 there has been a 551% increase in dog bite related hospital admissions.
- Another blow for dog bite victims.
- We want justice not revenge