Police dog handler cleared over incident in Sheffield

Davy Foy and Son Taylor
Davy Foy and Son Taylor
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A police officer has been cleared of misconduct after his police dog attacked an innocent bystander as it chased a suspected vandal.

The officer deployed his dog to search for a vandal who smashed a window on Fife Street, Wincobank - showering a seven-year-old boy with glass.

But as the dog chased the suspect it attacked Dawn Priestly, aged 39, as she was hanging out her washing in her garden in neighbouring Jedburgh Street.

She was bitten on her arm and required surgery after being rushed to hospital.

The vandal being chased was wanted by officers for an attack at the home of Davy Foy and Carol Denial.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “The force’s Professional Standards Department has completed its misconduct investigation into the injuries sustained by a 38-year-old woman as the result of a police dog bite in Wincobank.

“Police were called to the Wincobank area following reports of a disturbance on Fife Street.

“A number of police resources were deployed, which led to the pursuit of a suspect onto neighbouring streets.

“The woman, now 39, a local resident who was not part of the disturbance, sustained her injuries during this pursuit.

“As is standard procedure in such cases, the matter was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who agreed to supervise a South Yorkshire Police investigation.

“The terms of this investigation were to ascertain whether the dog handler was diligent in the exercise of his duties and responsibilities when deploying the police dog, to identify any misconduct issues or matters of criminal liability, and to consider any subsequent disciplinary action.

“The force’s report concluded that the evidence available shows the dog handler’s decision to deploy the dog was correct, proportionate, lawful and in line with Association of Chief Police Officers guidelines, and his training.

“The IPCC has reviewed the force’s concluding report and confirmed that its terms of reference have been met.

“The authorising officer within South Yorkshire Police has now made a final assessment of the report and agreed that there has been no breach of conduct and that no further action is taken against the officer involved.”