Met needs more funding to enforce XL bully ban – Khan

Sadiq Khan has called for more funding for the Metropolitan Police to cover the cost of enforcing the new XL bully dogs ban.

The London Mayor made the call days after it became a criminal offence to own an XL bully dog in England and Wales without an exemption certificate.

Under new restrictions, unregistered pets can taken and owners possibly fined and prosecuted, with seized dogs taken to kennels before a court decides if they should either be destroyed or deemed not a danger to public safety.

Mr Khan said he had written to the minister for London Greg Hands to raise concerns over the issue of police funding in the capital.

The Labour mayor said: “The actions of dangerous dogs such as the XL Bully can devastate families and we’ve seen some appalling cases in recent weeks.

“It is absolutely right that the law has changed meaning it is now illegal to own one of these animals, and owners are fined and prosecuted.

“The Met are rightly devoting a lot of resources to tackling dangerous dogs, including attending callouts and putting any illegally owned dogs into kennels.

“We now need ministers to step up and cover the cost of this work, which will now cost the Met £4 million a year, as well as the huge £240m shortfall facing the service for its unique capital city and national policing responsibilities.”

Fabian Society conference
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the Met needs more funding to enforce the XL bully ban (Maja Smiejkowska/PA)

The Government move to ban XL bullies followed a series of attacks on people. But it prompted warnings that it could spark higher demand for kennels and cause new challenges for officers nationwide.

Mr Khan said: “Earlier this week I wrote to the Minister for London around the vital issue of police funding and the real impact years of chronic underfunding and real term cuts by Government is having on the service the Met can deliver to Londoners.

“This is just the latest example of the Government talking tough, but failing to provide the funding needed to the police and other agencies who have to enforce the law.”

The call by Mr Khan comes as he prepares for a re-election battle in May, as he seeks to see off a challenge from Tory candidate Susan Hall.