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Saturday, 12 March 2011

Police forces across the UK have paid out a total of £770,000 in compensation to people bitten by police dogs

Police forces across the UK have paid out a total of £770,000 in compensation to people bitten by police dogs in the past three years, the BBC has found.

One bite during a chase led to a payout of almost £49,000, Radio 4's You and Yours discovered.

That is more than the cost of employing two junior constables for a year and comes as police budgets face a 20% cut.

Police chiefs said dogs were an essential resource and training of them was being constantly improved.

According to information obtained through Freedom of Information requests, Greater Manchester Police paid the most compensation of any force, a total of more than £180,000.

The Metropolitan Police had the second highest total, paying out £95,000.

Forty-three forces provided a breakdown of their figures by the type of person bitten. Between them, 2,725 suspects were bitten, along with 196 police staff and 155 other members of the public.

Eight police forces reported more than 100 dog bites over the last three years.

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