Dog attacks on cats labelled a ‘sinister’ concern by Colne neighbours

CALLING FOR ACTION: Norfolk Street, where residents are hoping to see the authorities clamping down on a "sinister" problem of dogs attacking cats in Colne (S)
CALLING FOR ACTION: Norfolk Street, where residents are hoping to see the authorities clamping down on a "sinister" problem of dogs attacking cats in Colne (S)

Frustrated neighbours have pulled together in a bid to clamp down on a “sinister” problem of dogs attacking cats in Colne.

The Norfolk Street residents, who want to remain anonymous, say that they want action after a spate of incidents in the area.

They say that over the past three years, there have been numerous attacks in the town and that often owners are encouraging their dogs to be malicious. They want to see signs put up in Colne urging dog owners to keep their pets on leads, as well as more successful prosecutions. They say they have been in contact with the police, Cats Prosecution, and the RSPCA. One resident, whose own pet had been “ripped to bits” by a dog, said: “This is a deliberate, repeated, and premeditated act.

“It is not one separate incident, but part of a whole - something far more sinister.

“I can’t express how angry people in Colne are - they are frustrated and sickened.

“It could be a child next. Anything that moves is in danger. It will be on the front page of the Colne Times soon, and maybe the police might take it more seriously then. These animals are brutalised, brought up as killing machines, and they are walking around without a lead or without having been muzzled.” And another added: “This is 0.1% of people who are doing this - it is the minority who are ruining it for everyone.”

The residents, who added many cats have also gone missing from the area, have also expressed their concern at how police are dealing with the growing problem, questioning what is needed for a prosecution to be successfully carried out.

Although they argue that there has been 57 attacks in the area in the past three years, police say that since January 1st, 2012 to mid-October, 2014, 20 incidents were reported to them for Colne and West Craven.

These, they say, were not always of a sinister nature, and ranged from attacked cats, poisoned cats, concern for cat at vets and lost cat. Responding, Sgt Kim De Curtis said: “This has been a ongoing concern raised by residents and a few months ago a public meeting was held with Chief Superintendent Bithell at the request of local residents. We have also recently appealed to the public via our Facebook page to obtain the support of the public around obtaining evidence into this type of crime and PBC produced a leaflet last year signposting the public to the relevant agency around incidents with dogs.

“To support a prosecution, we need evidence. Either a signed witness statement with the person willing to attend court, or footage handed over, again, with the owner of said footage signing a witness statement and willing to attend court if necessary. Any information passed is a great assistance in INTL gathering, but we need witnesses and not necessarily just third hand accounts to enable us to build a case against an individual.

“The police, RSPCA and council work closely together and find this type of crime upsetting, but without the support of the public it is very difficult. Our recent court case where three males received custodial sentences was as a result of a 18 month investigation which proves how seriously the police and RSPCA take this type of crime.”

For more information on how Pendle Council is working to promote responsible dog ownership visit www.

pendle.gov.uk/info/432/dog_warden_service

The council’s executive was last night set to discuss setting up a member/officer working group to examine dog issues and make recommendations.

They were asked to seek public opinion, the views of the police and other agencies and dog welfare bodies, and the views of area committees.

Contact 101 with information.