Finn’s Law one step closer after passing at House of Commons

PUBLISHED: 16:38 06 July 2018

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald with PC Dave Wardell and PD Finn at the IFAW Animal Action Awards 2017 ceremony at parliament. Picture: IFAW

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald with PC Dave Wardell and PD Finn at the IFAW Animal Action Awards 2017 ceremony at parliament. Picture: IFAW

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The bill for ‘Finn’s Law’ was presented to the House of Commons today for a second reading, and has now been passed to the next stage where a change in law will be considered.

PD Finn was stabbed in Stevenage in 2016PD Finn was stabbed in Stevenage in 2016

Put forward by North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald, the bill will give protection to service animals.

During the next stage it will be looked at in detail by a committee of MPs.

The bill comes after PD Finn was stabbed on duty in Stevenage and had to undergo major surgery in 2016.

Finn’s attacker – a 16-year-old boy who cannot be identified for legal reasons – was found guilty of causing criminal damage and was given a detention training order for eight months, as well as a two-year behaviour order with conditions and fines.

PC Dave Wardell with PD Finn. Picture: Danny LooPC Dave Wardell with PD Finn. Picture: Danny Loo

Speaking after the vote, Sir Oliver said: “I am delighted that my private member’s bill to give effect to Finn’s Law has passed a major hurdle and will now make further progress through parliament.

“I pay tribute to PC Dave Wardell – Finn’s handler – and Sarah Dixon, who have fought an excellent campaign to see this bill get to this stage.

“I hope that my bill will make further progress and that we will shortly see Finn’s Law on the statute book.”

Finn’s handler PC Dave Wardell said: “I am over the moon that MPs have this afternoon allowed Finn’s Law to progress to the next stage. This is an important measure to protect service animals, who work so hard to keep the public safe.”

The bill had been set to go to the next stage last month, but was blocked at that time by Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope – who had moments before also blocked a bill to make upskirting illegal. The Commons has this week passed that bill as well.

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