§ Lord Houghton of Sowerby
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are the precise powers of the police under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and to whom they are accountable for holding dogs for months after their detention without any charge being made.
§ Baroness Blatch
Section 5(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 empowers a constable to seize and detain any dog in respect of which it appears to him that an offence under Sections 1 or 3 of the Act may have been committed.
Additionally, Section 5(2) gives powers to justices of the peace (and sheriffs in Scotland) to issue a warrant authorising a constable to enter premises and to search for and seize any dog or other thing which is evidence of the commission of an offence under the Act.
The exercise of powers under the Dangerous Dogs Act, as with all police powers, is the responsibility of the chief officer of the force concerned.