Tougher penalties for killing police dogs one step closer

A Member’s Bill that would increase the maximum punishment for killing a police dog has been drawn from the ballot today, MP for Waimakariri Matt Doocey says.

“Like many New Zealanders I was outraged when a police dog was shot in the line of duty in Northland late last year, leaving the police dog critically injured.

“The current penalty for injuring or killing a police dog in New Zealand is two years’ jail or a fine of up to $15,000, or both. This is too lenient.

“This law change would see the punishment extended from a maximum of two years to a maximum of five years.

“In countries and territories like the United States, Canada, and South Australia, the penalties for killing a police dog are between five and 10 years’ imprisonment.

“Many people I speak to want greater deterrents put in place here in New Zealand to protect the loyal police dogs who work hard to keep us safe. This legislation will provide a greater deterrent and bring our laws into line with other countries.

“Training a police dog in New Zealand costs about $60,000. They are called out more than 40,000 times a year nationwide. These dogs work hard and are valuable assets in fighting crime.

“Our police dogs are as much a part of our police force as any officer. They protect us and they deserve our protection.”

A copy of the legislation can be found here.