A PETITION signed by more than 4,000 Londoners calling for tougher laws to tackle dangerous dogs has been handed to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Deputy Mayor for Policing Kit Malthouse went to Downing Street yesterday afternoon to deliver the petition, which calls for stiffer penalties for owners of banned dogs and swifter justice in dog attack cases.

Mr Malthouse said: “The message today is plain and clear - the Government needs to act urgently to protect Londoners and their pets from savage attacks by weapon dogs.

“Unless legislation is toughened up, these attacks will continue. Certain breeds are used and trained to be used as weapons and should carry the same penalties as other weapons, such as knives.”

The North London Times and Independent newspapers backed the petition when it was launched in August last year, as part of our efforts to push for a change in the law.

We believe people who own and breed dangerous and illegal dogs should face stiffer punishments, and the Government should focus its efforts on ending the culture of dogs being used a weapons.

We also insist more needs to be done to tackle irresponsible ownership of dogs and to eradicate cruelty to these animals.

Figures show 43 per cent of Londoners are worried about the problems of dangerous and out-of-control dogs in local parks, and more than 1,000 dogs were seized by the Met in 2010.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has called for sentencing for owners of dangerous dogs to be in line with punishments for people caught with a knife.