[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 17:57 GMT 18:57 UK
Dogs are yobs' 'weapon of choice'
Pit bull terrier
Ms Butt said she believed dogs were being used to intimidate
Dogs have become the "weapon of choice" for a rising numbers of thugs in London, police have been told.

The Metropolitan Police Authority's (MPA) deputy chairwoman said she believed more people were using dogs to intimidate or attack.

Cindy Butts' statement comes a week after a man was attacked by two dog walkers after he asked them to control the animals.

The Metropolitan Police commissioner said it was a "very important issue".

'Significant increase'

Ms Butts told an MPA meeting on Thursday: "I am aware, anecdotally, that increasingly dogs are being used by young people, young men in particular, as either weapons of choice or to instil fear and intimidation.

"I wondered whether any analysis had been done across London to the use of dogs by young people either to commit crime or to instil fear.

"I have certainly noticed a significant increase, particularly of young people carrying some quite potentially dangerous dogs."

A 23-year-old man has been arrested and bailed over the attack on the man in Hammersmith, west London, last week.

The 39-year-old victim got into a row when two dogs started biting at his ankles. He had yelled at the two men to control their dogs.

He was pursued, the dogs were set on him and he was slashed with a meat cleaver, suffering deep head wounds, having an arm almost severed and losing three of his fingers .

The man managed get into the garden of a house and raise the alarm by banging on a window.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific