Three senior police officers from West Yorkshire Police have shown their support to a national campaign, to see police dogs and horses given the same rights as police officers if they are assaulted in the line of duty.
Finns Law is a campaign that began following the stabbing of a Hertfordshire Police Dog earlier this month. PD Finn underwent four hours of emergency surgery after being stabbed in the head and chest when detaining a suspect in Stevenage. His handler also received injuries to his hand.
The suspect, a 16-year-old boy, has been charged with criminal damage after the attack.
The campaign would like to see the police dogs and horses seen as the same as police officers in the law if they are assaulted.
To generate further support for Finn’s Law, three officers from West Yorkshire Police have donned the protective sleeves used in police dog training and become very active participants in a training session at the home of the force’s Dog Support Unit at Carr Gate.
Chief Superintendent Tim Kingsman, Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain and Chief Inspector Aidy Waugh all put their best arms forward for the training session with PD’s Tac, Tia, Kes and Axle.
West Yorkshire Police has had dogs punched, kicked and strangled in the past. Police Horses have also been assaulted in the line of duty. On average, there will be an assault on a police dog every month.
Chief Superintendent Tim Kingsman who oversees West Yorkshire Police’s Protective Services Operations, home of the force’s Dog Support Unit said; “The Dog Support Unit and Mounted Section are very much part of our policing family.
“The dogs and their handlers are an incredibly valuable asset in helping to detect crime, detain offenders and protect the vulnerable. It is difficult to understand how or why people think it is acceptable to assault an animal, any more than a person and I wholeheartedly support the campaign that our four-legged crime fighting heroes are acknowledged the same way as officers in the law.”
Wakefield District Commander, Chief Superintendent Mabs Hussain, who is also supporting the campaign said; “Most people simply do not realise how frequently we call upon colleagues in the Dog Support Unit to help detect and solve crime. Apart from seeking out and helping to apprehend suspects, the team help us locate vulnerable missing people and can help detect drugs and explosives. They are such a fantastic asset, but can also be incredibly vulnerable to being assaulted such as PD Finn in Hertfordshire.”
Chief Inspector Aidy Waugh, who used to be a dog handler is also getting involved;”Having worked as a dog handler I know the bond between the officer and the dog is truly unique, and that any injury sustained in the line of duty is felt across the whole dog unit family. Where that injury is sustained out of the utter disrespect and violence towards a dog escalates those emotions. Police dogs and horses are more than just our tools to do the job, they become part of our family and should have the same rights as officers if assaulted in the line of duty.”
You can sign the petition in support of Finn’s Law and find out more about it at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/168678