AN independent police investigation has been launched after a ten-year-old boy was bitten by a Cleveland Police dog in Billingham.
25 MARCH 2016 | BY Chris Webber FOR NORTHERN ECHO
Fletcher Porritt was injured as a police dog handler came to the area as part of a police operation which did not involve the boy.
It happened near to Farleigh Close, Billingham, shortly after 8pm on Thursday, March 3 and now the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), is looking into the attack.The boy suffered injuries to his shoulder and was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees, Stockton, for treatment.
It has been reported that the police dog was chasing a suspect who had abandoned a car when it turned on the child. The dog has been removed from operational duties as a matter of routine.
IPCC Commissioner, Carl Gumsley, said: “I am aware of the injuries to Fletcher and I wish him a speedy recovery.
The IPCC investigation is now underway but I urge anyone who witnessed this incident to contact the IPCC as soon as possible. It is vital that we collate all the relevant information available to us to ensure a thorough investigation can take place.”
It is not the first time an investigation into Cleveland Police’s dog department has been conducted. In July 2014, Irene Collins, 73, died days after being attacked by a police dog in her Middlesbrough home.
The dog was put down and the Cleveland Police dog handler was served with a gross misconduct notice. In August 2014, another German Shepherd was put down after it bit a member of staff at the police dog kennels at Ormesby Hall, Middlesbrough.
Anyone who witnessed the latest incident is asked to contact the IPCC by phone on 0800 096 9076 or by email via firstname.lastname@example.org