North Belfast video shows dog attacking police officer

Police have said they are aware of a video circulating online of an officer being bitten by a dog while on duty in north Belfast.

Officers were at a house in Silverstream Avenue on Wednesday when one was attacked by the dog.

The female officer suffered an injury to her foot after the dog latched on to her boot.

Another officer present at the time was not injured.

In the video he can be seen trying to get the dog away from his colleague.

Police said the dog warden has been contacted and enquiries are ongoing.


Speaking to BBC News NI's Good Morning Ulster programme on Wednesday, former senior police officer Jon Burrows described the incident as "terrifying".

Mr Burrows said the incident is "a reminder of the dangers that dogs can pose to the public".

"We’re a nation of dog lovers, but people need to be able to make sure that dogs are trained and have proper control over them," he said.

Mr Burrows explained that police officers can use "up to and including their firearms to neutralise an immediate threat if someone is at risk, and they have done in the past".

The officers in this case were "extremely restrained", he added.

Mr Burrows has called for a dog ownership register to be set up in Northern Ireland.

Public safety

Nora Smith, chief executive of the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) described the video as "horrific". She said the issue of dog attacks and dog aggression was "complex".

In a statement, she added: "Public safety must come first in these situations and thankfully the police officer managed to get away with what looks like minor injuries."

Ms Smith called on the Northern Ireland Executive to "address this through a review of breeding practices, more robust enforcement and a wider piece of work on responsible dog ownership".

"Owning a dog is a big commitment and responsibility," she added.