Zembla
Zembla

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Zembla

Biting as a reward

16-11-2020

Zembla has conducted research into the nationwide use of police dogs as a weapon. After firearms, dogs are the most serious weapon used by the police. There are approximately 400 police dogs in the Netherlands. According to the police, there were 357 incidents last year in which a police dog bit a person, something that can lead to severe injuries.

Zembla’s investigation revealed that while there are strict regulations in place for other police weapons, such as firearms and pepper spray, that stipulate exactly how and against whom they may be used, there are scarcely any legal regulations concerning police dogs. “This may lead to dog handlers receiving insufficient guidance or no guidance at all, and going their own way when using this serious weapon”, said Jaap Timmer from Vrije University in Amsterdam, who conducts research into police and security matters. Several court rulings have shown that this lack of regulation also makes it difficult to prosecute dog handlers who have used excessive violence.