Police Dog Death: Dog Handler Investigated

A Cleveland Police officer's being investigated by the police watchdog over the death of a woman who was bitten by a police dog in Middlesbrough.

73 year old Irene Collins died in July after she was bitten several times by the German shepherd when an officer went into her garden to search for a suspected burglar.

The IPCC are interviewing the officer under criminal caution, as well as looking into whether what he did counts as gross misconduct.

It's in relation to an allegation of failing to control a dog, contrary to the provisions of the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.

IPCC investigators have obtained and considered information including police logs, radio communication, aerial footage and written statements from the officers who attended Mrs Collins house on 16 July.

They are also liaising with the Health and Safety Executive over its separate investigation.

An inquest into Mrs Collins' death was opened and adjourned at Middlesbrough Coroner's Court on 6 August.

Updated 21st July 2014

Middlesbrough woman Irene Collins, who was bitten by a Cleveland Police dog, has died from her injuries.

The 73 year old from Park End was injued by the dog in the garden of her home last Wednesday.

Assistant Chief Constable Sean White of Cleveland Police said: 
"Our thoughts are with family members, relatives and friends who will be distraught at this sad news.  Members of Cleveland Police share the grief that is felt and we all wish to express our sincerest condolences to the family.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been updated and will make a decision on how the incident should be investigated. We are providing the highest level of co-operation to the IPCC and seeking to support the family where it is possible to do so.

The police dog involved has been withdrawn from operational policing activities and support is being provided to the police officer who was handling the dog at the time of the event.

We are committed to learning any lessons that may arise from the investigation and the daily use of police dogs remains operationally important in reducing crime and disorder and protecting the public. Our dogs are trained and licensed for use in accordance with national police guidance."

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