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Dangerous dog patrol scheme extended for another year by Enfield Council
The council has extended a scheme in which officers patrol the borough’s parks in a bid to tackle dangerous dogs.
The £38,000 Parkguard scheme was launched by Enfield Council in July last year in reaction to a survey which showed the fear of aggressive dogs as one of the top concerns of people living in the borough.
The scheme’s officers patrol Enfield’s parks and offer advice and training to owners on how to control their pets, as well as dealing with referrals from Enfield Police and the borough’s housing team.
And after dealing with more than 500 incidents in one year alone and a spate of dog attacks, councillors have renewed the scheme for another year.
Cabinet member for public health, Councillor Christine Hamilton, said: “The safety of our park users is a key priority for us and both Parkguard and our parks police are working incredibly hard to deal with the menace of dangerous dogs and also work closely with pet owners who may want some advice and guidance about how to care for an control their pets.
"Our residents tell us they really enjoy using our parks and open spaces but fear some of the dogs they encounter running free in them, especially if they have young children.”
The team’s early successes include seizing pit-bulls from Firs Farm Playing Fields, stopping dog baiting in Montagu Recreation Ground, and training primary school children on how to react when approached by dogs in parks.
Last month, Edmonton MP Andy Love called for a dog control scheme to be introduced in England and called for a clear timetable for tougher measures on irresponsible owners to be brought in after the Enfield Independent revealed a spate of attacks.
Janet Tingling, 53, and her daughter, Ashleigh Higgins, 30, were attacked in a small park off Kimberley Road in May when two Staffordshire bull terriers, who were not on a lead, attacked them.
And Enfield Southgate MP David Burrowes backed new sentencing guidelines recommending at least six months in jail for those who fail to stop their dog harming others after his dog, Cholmeley, was attacked in Arnos Park last month by a Staffordshire bull terrier which was not on a lead.
A petition – backed by the Enfield Independent – was handed to Prime Minister David Cameron last year, calling for stiffer penalties for owners of banned dogs and swifter justice in attack cases.