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Dogs shot and murdered in Tower Hamlets

I watched the video, and it broke my heart to see two dogs murdered in plain sight by the Met Police. I will now provide my analysis of what happened in that video and how it could have been avoided. Firstly, to the member of the public who phoned the police and reported the homeless man with his two dogs, your actions led to this tragedy. Now, in order for the police and armed response unit to attend a situation like this, the caller would have had to report something like this: “I want to report a man with two dangerous pitbull-like dogs intimidating members of the public.” The call handler would then ask for the location and description of the man and the dogs, as well as whether the dogs were out of control or posed a risk to the public. The member of the public would have responded with “yes,” which would prompt an automatic response from the police armed response unit.

In normal situations, the Met Police dog unit would have arrived and assessed the situation. However, due to the person who called and escalated the situation, which never existed in the first place, the response was different. The officers were already in a defensive and standoffish mode due to the call they received. Upon watching the video, you can see that, like any other dog owner, no one wants to leave or give their dogs away to anyone. Therefore, the homeless man’s response would have been normal for any dog owner, with his reluctance to release them.

What should have happened

When arriving on the scene as a police officer, if someone reports that the dogs were dangerous and out of control, you would be able to observe if that is correct and from a distance. This would indicate your approach to the dogs and the owner. Two dog handlers should have approached the man for a chat and explained to him why they were there. The dog handlers could then assess the dogs in a calm and controlled manner, explain to the man that a complaint had been received, and that they would need to take him and the dogs back to the station for an assessment. They should also have explained that they would need to crate the dogs for transportation and asked him to put them in the crate.

This situation would have had a completely different outcome. Even when the homeless man released the dogs, they stood there and just barked. One dog was then shot, and they used the dog pole locking tool to control the second one, which started to cry. Even when it wriggled free, it was running away, and then the officer followed the dog and shot it!

Let’s be clear here: any dog can be dangerous, and any breed’s behaviour depends on how they are raised and trained. If you corner a dog or dogs with the owner shouting and screaming at them, the dogs will react to protect their owner or themselves. This was the most heart-breaking video footage I have seen in a long time.


The approach taken by the Met Police was wrong, and the video shows it. Video footage cannot be disputed when it comes to analysing a situation. The officers’ direct actions were a significant contributing factor to the deaths of those dogs and could have been avoided. The Met Police will need to answer for this, and anyone who supports those actions needs to be assessed about their role within the Met. Every day, some members of the Met are losing their humanity, making it harder for them to relate to the people they serve.


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