Government gives backing to ‘Finn’s Law’

PUBLISHED: 16:02 15 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:24 15 June 2018

PD Finn was stabbed in Stevenage in 2016

PD Finn was stabbed in Stevenage in 2016

Danny Loo Photography 2016

The Association for Police and Crime Commissioners has announced today that ‘Finn’s Law’, which will help to protect service animals in the line of duty, has been backed by the Government.

Police dog Finn required emergency surgery after he was stabbed.Police dog Finn required emergency surgery after he was stabbed.

The bill, which came about after PD Finn was stabbed on duty in Stevenage, comes after a petition reached 120,000 signatures.

It called for the status of police dogs and horses to be changed, so that anyone who attacks a service animal would face the same charges as if they had attacked a person. Previously the charge would be one of criminal damage.

The online petition was launched after police dog Finn was stabbed, along with his handler PC Dave Wardell, while chasing a suspect in Denton Road.

The MP for North East Herts Sir Oliver Heald also put forward a motion in the House of Commons in December last year, calling for a change in the law.

PC Dave Wardell with PD Finn. Picture: Danny LooPC Dave Wardell with PD Finn. Picture: Danny Loo

The attack on PD Finn happened in 2016, when he and PC Wardell were chasing a 16-year-old boy, armed with a 12-inch combat knife, through a back garden.

The boy stabbed the German shepherd through the chest during the altercation and had life-saving surgery to have parts of one lung removed.

The offender was found guilty of causing criminal damage by stabbing Finn, and was given a detention training order for eight months – four months in custody and four months in the community – as well as a two-year behaviour order with conditions and fines.

APCC chair and PCC for Herts David Lloyd said: “I am delighted that the Government has agreed to support this important bill, which will help to protect service animals – including police animals – who play such an important role in assisting our police officers and keep our communities safe.

“The need for legislation was brought to the fore by the experience of PD Finn and his handler, PC Dave Wardell, in Hertfordshire.

“A change in the law is something that police and crime commissioners have called for in recent months and I want to pay tribute to Sir Oliver Heald MP, Finn’s Law Campaign and everyone else that has worked so hard to bring this measure forward.

“I will continue to work with colleagues to ensure that this protection is introduced at the soonest possible opportunity.”

The bill was due to be debated in the House of Commons today, but Sir Oliver tweeted that it had been tabled until July 6.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Royston Crow visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Royston Crow staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Royston Crow account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

12:01

Regulars at the only pub in Odsey have spoken of their concern about the future of the historic watering hole, saying the owners “are running it into the ground.”

Yesterday, 15:33

An on-duty Royston firefighter who drove his fire engine at speed onto a roundabout with the result that it toppled over and killed a pedestrian was today found not guilty of causing his death by dangerous driving.

Yesterday, 12:25

The cost of building Cambridgeshire County Council’s new headquarters at Alconbury Weald has already increased by 10 per cent without a brick being laid.

Yesterday, 07:01

Royston schoolchildren have held a special assembly to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Royston Crow e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Royston Crow weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy