Tim Beaumont, Labour’s candidate in Picton ward, has called for swift action on dangerous dogs following the tragic death of 4 year old John-Paul Massey. John-Paul was killed after a dog attack on Sunday. It has since been reported in the Liverpool Echo that the dog was an illegal pit bull terrier.
Tim is launching a campaign calling for action, after he said that current legislation on dog control could be put to better use.
In a letter to the Liverpool Echo, Tim writes "It is a terrible tragedy for the family and a shock to the whole community. As a father of children around the same age, my heart goes out to John Paul's parents and family."
"I live near where the incident happened and residents have had concerns about aggressive dogs for a long time. We want to see more done about this."
"In other cities, problems with dangerous dogs have been tackled in a co-ordinated way by setting up multi-agency teams."
"I would like to see more joined up working on dealing with dangerous dogs between the police, Liverpool council and housing associations."
"We may not need new laws, but start using the existing laws better. Maybe this would avoid a similar tragedy happening again."
Speaking to liverpoollabour.org, Tim added “The solutions currently being suggested - electronic tagging for example - are sensible but would require new legislation, which would be time consuming. We need to see if there are solutions that could improve matters that could be introduced much quicker."
Tim has pointed to a publication about the Dangerous Dogs Law – which can be found here – as an example of guidance already available for law enforcers to follow.
“This report is a good starting point. I want to know if this report has been circulated around the council. If not, then why not? And if it has, what was the council’s response?”
“The guidance recommends setting up a multi agency initiative on dangerous dogs. I want to know how quickly this could be done, and I’d like to call on the council to fast track this initiative through.”
“We also need to look at Liverpool’s own procedures on dog safety. Current information seems to consist of the advice ‘Call the police’ – but we know from experience that the police won’t do anything until after a dog has attacked someone.”
“It's clear that residents want to see action on dangerous dogs and soon. We can't wait for new laws on tagging - we need to make the best of what we have already.”