Tougher penalties needed to protect our police dogs

The punishment for killing a police dog should be extended from a maximum of two years to a maximum of five years, National MP for Waimakariri Matt Doocey says.

“Like many New Zealanders, I am outraged by the recent shooting of a police dog in the line of duty in Northland, leaving the police dog critically injured.

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

“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.

“I have drafted a Members Bill – the Policing (Killing or Injuring Police Dogs) Amendment Bill – that will provide a greater deterrent and bring our laws into line with other countries.

“If the Government wants to make real change to protect our police dogs then it will adopt this bill and pass it into law.

“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.”

You can read a copy of the Policing Act (Killing or Injuring Police Dogs) Amendment Bill here.