The Dangerous Dogs Act bans the ownership, breeding, sale, and exchange of certain types of fighting dogs. Namely, purebreds and crossbreeds with the same physical and behavioural characteristics as the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasileiro.
Owning a dangerous dog carries a fine of up to £5,000 and / or 6 months in prison. The dog may also be destroyed.
A dog which is out of control in any public space or on private land, and which presents a serious risk to public safety, or makes a person fear they will be attacked, is also legally considered to be a dangerous dog.
If a dog behaves aggressively towards, or attacks, a person gaining unlawful access to private property (the actual building only, not the garden or grounds), this is not an offence.
How to report a dangerous dog
If you encounter a dog you believe to be dangerous, and the dog is causing an immediate threat to public safety, call the police on 999.
If it's not an emergency, but you want to report your concerns about a dangerous dog, contact the police on the non-emergency number, 101.
If you believe you own one of the banned types of dog, or know the whereabouts of one of those types of dog, contact the police on 01642 326326.
To report a stray dog, please go to the stray dog page. Stray dog reports are dealt with by the Dog Warden Service.