LONDON'S top politicians have urged the government to speed up introducing new laws to tackle the problem of dangerous dogs.

The London Assembly passed a motion this week backing a campaign for tougher action on dangerous dogs, and pushed the government to take “immediate action” to bring in stiffer penalties for irresponsible dog owners.

Joanne McCartney, assembly member for Enfield and Haringey, said: “I'm sure all of us receive increasing numbers of cases of problems in local parks.

“This summer, in my local park, they were stripping the lower branches off trees because of dogs being trained to hang off them.

“There's also a financial implication – we are currently going through the police budget and £10m this year was spent on kenneling dogs.

“I hope the government is looking at this and will speed up the process of dealing with prosecutions through the courts, because that's money that could be spent on other things.”

The motion, introduced by Steve O'Connell, Tory member for Croydon and Sutton which has had particular problems with dangerous dogs, read: “This Assembly supports the campaign calling for stronger action to tackle the increasing problem of dangerous dogs.

“We welcome the Dangerous Dogs Petition which calls on the Government to take immediate action to deal with this problem.

“We also support the Mayor in lobbying for an urgent review of the current legislation regarding dangerous dogs with the aim of introducing stiffer penalties and tougher legislation to protect the public.

“This Assembly resolves to lobby the UK Government to acknowledge that dangerous dogs are used as weapons and that they should be treated as such in parliamentary legislation.”

The government is currently looking at the issue with a view to refreshing legislation on dangerous dogs to reflect the growing problem of poor ownership and dogs being used a weapons.

The North London Times and Independent Series is backing the campaign to toughen up dog laws, and to raise awareness of the problems cause by bad or irresponsible ownership.