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A thankfully rare event but distressing all the same.

In the private sector, handlers are not able to release their canine from the lead. Given the lack of coherent standards in the private sector, this is a good thing.

We have seen so many cases of police dogs being released to attack a suspect, only for the dog to bite the wrong person, a passer by or even another Police officer.

It is very difficult at times for a trained dog to identify the ‘aggressor’ in a crowd or with more than one person in view.

If the handler was not 100% sure that his canine had identified its target, he should not have released the dog.

A Cleveland Police dog handler has been interviewed under caution over the death of a Teesside woman who died after being bitten during a search.