THE RSPCA HAVE released a new report which exposes the ineffectiveness, flaws and negative impact of the breed specific law.
This week marks 25 years since the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) 1991 which applies breed specific legislation – BSL- via Section One. The RSPCA is now calling for a UK Government inquiry into its effectiveness.
This week they have released a report ‘Breed Specific Legislation: A Dog’s Dinner’.
This shows the weaknesses in breed specific legislation as it has failed to meet its goals of improving public safety by reducing the number of dog bites and eliminating dogs that are prohibited. Indeed, more dog bites are reported now than ever before and the numbers of prohibited dogs continue to rise.
Many organisations agree that a breed specific approach is failing to protect public safety as dog bites continue to rise.
It also has a negative impact on dog welfare. Because of Section One of the DDA, the RSPCA in England and Wales has been forced to put to sleep 366 dogs over the past two years.
RSPCA dog welfare expert, Dr Samantha Gaines, said: “The police, the RSPCA and other animal rescue organisations have to deal with the consequences of this flawed law by euthanising hundreds of dogs because legislation is forcing us to due to the way they look, despite being suitable for rehoming. Not only is this a huge ethical and welfare issue, it also places significant emotional strain on staff.
“It is the view of the RSPCA, and the public, that every animal’s life matters.
“We conclude that breed specific legislation has not achieved its objectives whilst causing unintended harms. A new approach is required.
“The RSPCA believes it is paramount for the Government to launch an inquiry into the effectiveness of BSL, assess other options to improve human safety and dog welfare, and ultimately repeal the breed specific part of the legislation.”
The report raises concerns that there is a lack of evidence to support BSL and that there are also issues around the evidence required to designate a dog as being of prohibited type. There are also concerns over the potential to mislead the public that non-prohibited dogs are always safe, and our primary concern is BSL’s impact on dog welfare and owner suffering.
Despite many countries using BSL, there is a lack of evidence to show that it reduces dog bites.
Several studies have shown that BSL has not reduced dog bites in countries abroad.
The number of hospital admissions due to dog bites rose from 4,110 (March 2005) to 7,227 (February 2015) and continue to rise.
BSL is now being reviewed worldwide and has been reversed by three European governments and many US administrations following studies. A 2010 Defra consultation in England revealed that 88% of respondents felt BSL was not effective in protecting the public, and 71% felt it should be repealed.
Television personality and dog behaviour expert Victoria Stilwell agrees with the RSPCA that BSL is ineffective, outdated and flawed, saying: “BSL tears apart families while punishing innocent dogs and their guardians solely because of a dog’s appearance. Any dog can bite under the right circumstances, so legislation should focus on protecting the public through responsible pet guardianship rather than targeting a particular breed.”
The Dog’s Dinner report shows a number of cases from other countries, including Canada, where a reduction in dog bites has been achieved, not by BSL, but by focusing on improving responsible dog ownership. There are already mechanisms in the legislation to improve human safety.
These should be prioritised as well as a focused education campaign, particularly aimed at children.
As well as being ineffective at protecting public safety, BSL raises serious dog welfare concerns and causes trauma to owners who are affected.
“The process of seizing a dog suspected of being prohibited and the stress associated with a kennel environment can compromise the dog’s welfare,” Dr Gaines added.
“The impact on dog welfare and owner well-being has been very much hidden but it is clear that BSL comes at a significant cost to many who would not ordinarily come into contact with the police or courts.
“Until such time that BSL is repealed, there needs to be urgent action to protect the welfare of dogs affected by this law. In the absence of any evidence to show that BSL is effective in safeguarding public safety, it is the very least that we can do for man’s best friend.”
Our responsibility to follow the new Wales coronavirus measures in order to Keep Ceredigion Safe
The Welsh Government is bringing in new coronavirus measures to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.
To help further prevent the spread of coronavirus, new measures were announced by the First Minister which will come into force at 6pm on Thursday, September 24, 2020:
· Hospitality businesses in Wales will have to close at 10pm and provide table service only.
· All off-licences, including supermarkets, will have to stop selling alcohol at 10pm.
We are also being asked to think carefully about making journeys: only travel where it is essential to do so. The fewer people we meet and the fewer journeys we make, the safer we all are.
The Welsh Government have also introduced the following measures:
· A new £500 payment to support people on low incomes who are asked to self-isolate if they have coronavirus;
· Strengthened regulations to ensure employers support people who need to self-isolate.
The new measures are part of a package of co-ordinated actions to control the spread of coronavirus and it is essential that we all play our part in order to keep Ceredigion safe.
These new measures are to be introduced alongside those that are already in place:
· Keep a 2m social distance from each other when out and about.
· Wash your hands regularly.
· Wear a mask in indoor public places, shops and on public transport
· Only meet 6 people indoors from your extended household (not including children 11 and under).
· Do not meet with more than 30 people outdoors.
· Work from home, wherever possible.
· Think carefully about making journeys: only travel where you need to do so. The fewer people we meet and the fewer journeys we make, the safer we all are.
We need everyone to follow the rules and guidance and to take the steps to protect them and their loved ones.
Together, we can keep Ceredigion safe.
All the latest information and advice regarding the coronavirus can be found on Ceredigion County Council’s website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/Coronavirus. The Council’s Corporate Contact Centre number is 01545 570881.
NHS COVID-19 app launches across Wales
People are being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help stop the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.
The app launches today [Thursday 24] after positive trials and will be a useful tool when used alongside Wales’ successful manual contact tracing system.
It will be available to those aged 16 and over, and forms a central part of the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme identifying contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.
The roll-out of the app in Wales coincides with a national campaign around how people in Wales can best support the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme, including only getting a test if they are showing symptoms; self-isolating when required; and working with local contact tracers if they are contacted.
Wales’ contact tracing system – which is a publicly-run service and locally delivered – is working well and has seen a very high contract and trace rate. Latest stats show 94% of cases are being successfully contacted.
The app works by logging the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for COVID-19 – even if you don’t know each other.
The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case. It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a test if needed and get your test results.
Wales’ Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“The launch of the NHS COVID-19 app is an important part of Wales’ coronavirus response, supporting the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme. The more people who download and use this app, the more it will help us to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We have worked closely with the app development team to ensure it works seamlessly across Wales and England, providing people with the right advice based on where they live. In Wales, the app will complement our existing contact tracing and testing services and will further support our co-ordinated response to COVID-19 at both a local and national level.
“I strongly encourage everyone in Wales to download and use the app to keep Wales safe.”
The app has been designed with user privacy in mind, so it tracks the virus, not people and uses the latest in data security technology to protect privacy. The system generates a random ID for an individual’s device, which can be exchanged between devices via Bluetooth. These unique random IDs regenerate frequently to add an extra layer of security and preserve anonymity.
The app does not hold personal information such as your name, address or date of birth, and only requires the first half of your postcode to ensure local outbreaks can be managed.
Today the UK’s major mobile network operators, including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, Sky and Virgin, have confirmed that all in-app activity will not come out of customers’ data allowance.
In a joint statement Apple and Google said:
“We built the exposure notifications system to enable public health authorities in their efforts to develop apps to help reduce the spread of the virus while ensuring people can trust in the privacy-preserving design. We are committed to supporting the government’s effort to launch an app based on this technology.”
Whilst the app will be a major support for the contact tracing system, Welsh residents are being reminded to continue to keep Wales safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 by:
• Always keeping a distance
• Washing hands regularly
• Working from home wherever possible
• Following local restrictions
• Following the rules about meeting people
• Staying at home if you or anyone in your extended household has symptoms.
Man jailed for revenge porn against teenage ex-girlfriend
A ‘PREDATORY OFFENDER’ who targeted young girls online and shared indecent images of them on pornographic websites has been jailed for more than two years.
Robin Edwards Jones, formerly of Lampeter, came to police attention after tracking down his former girlfriend – a teenager 26 years his junior – and sending a threatening email containing indecent images of her to her boss a year after their relationship ended.
The 48-year-old then uploaded hundreds of images of the then 17-year-old to pornographic websites, creating a personal bio for each site that allowed her to be identified through her Facebook account.
Jones has been jailed following a two-year investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police, which saw the force’s digital crime unit prove he had supplied the websites with these images.
Officer in case Detective Sergeant Steve Barry said: “This was a thorough investigation into what has become known as revenge porn.
“Two other police forces were initially involved in the investigation before passing it to Dyfed Powys Police, and our investigation spanned two years, with the safeguarding of the teenage victim at its heart.
“What we were faced with initially was a suspect who was alleged to have circulated indecent images of a teenage girl with the intent of causing her distress following the break-up of a six month relationship.
“As the investigation progressed, it transpired that Jones was a predatory offender, targeting young children online to obtain indecent images of them for his sexual gratification and desire to control them.”
The offender and victim met online in November 2015, when Jones claimed he was 28 years old in an attempt to instigate a relationship with a teenage girl.
Over the following six months, the victim sent a number of indecent images of herself to the offender on his request. He also created his own images from intimate video chats, increasing the library of images for his use.
The relationship ended in April 2016 when the teenager’s father became aware of the situation and notified the police.
There was no contact between the pair for 12 months after they separated.
DS Barry said: “It wasn’t until the following April when the victim started a new job, that Jones tracked her down and began his campaign against her.
“He set up an email account under a false name and sent the victim’s employer eight indecent images that she had taken during their relationship in a bid to get her fired from her job.
“Around the same time, the victim received a message asking if she was aware that these photos had been uploaded to a pornographic website – for a young girl, this was extremely traumatic.”
Enquiries linked the email account to Jones’s home address, and a warrant was carried out with the support of Dyfed-Powys Police’s Digital Communications and Cybercrime Unit.
A number of digital devices were seized and the suspect was interviewed in relation to the offences, strongly denying any wrongdoing – a position he maintained throughout the investigation.
“In the meantime, the victim received two messages on Facebook asking if images on another website were of her,” DS Barry said.
“She believed it was Jones further taunting her, but enquires revealed it was a man who had identified her through a false profile and hoped to start a sexual relationship.
“Applications were made to the sites to ensure these images were removed swiftly, to prevent further distress to the victim.”
As digital investigators analysed a computer belonging to Jones, they discovered he was also in contact with a 14-year-old American girl, with sexual messages exchanged between the pair.
“Evidence from the computers seized showed that Jones began his relationship with a girl in the US when she was just 12 years old,” DS Barry said.
“Contact was made through Interpol, but she and her family were unwilling to support our investigation.”
As the investigation was completed, officers found that Jones had more than 500 indecent images of the victims – 52 of which were the most serious classification – and that he had shared 162 private photos without consent of the victims.
He was charged with two counts of disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress; two counts of possessing indecent photographs of a child; and three counts of distributing indecent images of a child – with images spanning classes A, B and C.
Even with the weight of evidence against him, Jones maintained his innocence and opted for trial, however he admitted the offences on the day the trial began at Swansea Crown Court.
On September 17, he was sentenced to 27 months in prison. He must also register as a sex offender for 10 years, and was given a restraining order against contacting the victim.
DS Barry said: “This conviction was as a result of a team effort between forces and departments, but the effort and dedication from the digital cybercrime unit was outstanding and should be particularly commended.”
Popular This Week
News2 weeks ago
Newtown: Online threat to ‘use of firearms at a school’ lead to swift police action
News2 weeks ago
Police commissioner commits £10,000 to community projects in Aberystwyth
News2 weeks ago
A glimpse at the first few weeks of Penweddig’s new Headteacher
News2 weeks ago
The latest increase in coronavirus in Wales is ‘sobering’ says First Minister
News2 weeks ago
WASPI unaffected by appeal’s failure
News2 weeks ago
Ceredigion MP welcomes High Court ruling on Covid-19 business interruption insurance
News2 weeks ago
Businesses reminded to keep to the coronavirus rules
News6 days ago
Premises in Ceredigion issued with a closure notice over breach of coronavirus regulations