Dog attacks double in Sutton since 2010
Dog attacks have doubled in Sutton since 2010.
Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that the borough is bucking a London-wide trend and is seeing dog attacks on the increase.
Instances where a person has allowed a dog to be dangerously out of control and injuring someone in a public place have risen from nine in 2010 to 19 already this year.
Sutton is one of only seven boroughs across the capital's 32 which has seen a rise in attacks.
Only Kensington and Chelsea has seen a bigger spike in instances, from three in 2010, to 14 so far in 2012.
Campaigners are shocked by the figures.
The CWU union launched its Bite Back campaign following the horrific mauling of a postman in 2009.
Sian Jones, from the union, said: "These figures are really shocking. Although Sutton is bucking the London trend, we still feel that not enough is being done pro actively to stop these horrific attacks.
There needs to be intervention before a dog is showing dangerous behaviour. Every dog is potentially dangerous, but it largely depends on the owner. We want to see owners licensed, and every dog micro chipped, so if an attack does occur then police can trace the dog to the owner and they can be prosecuted."
In 2011 police launched the Local Environment Awareness of Dogs (LEAD) initiative after Barbara Williams was tragically killed by a Belgian mastiff belonging to her landlord Alex Blackburn Smith in Wallington.
The LEAD initiative was a call by police to make owners of all breeds of dog aware of their responsibilities to their pet and the wider community, but the figures show it is not having the desired affect.
A police spokesman said: "We believe these figures are a direct reflection of our work in partnership with others to raise awareness of responsible dog ownership and dog related issues in the borough.
Since the launch of the LEAD initiative in Sutton, every dog incident that comes to police attention is recorded, assessed and early intervention and engagement are offered. Enforcement is implemented where appropriate."
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