Finn’s Law petition nears 100,000 after appearance on Good Morning Britain and Stevenage MP joins campaign to lobby parliament

From right, Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, retired police dog trainer Mark Tasker and guide dog ow

From right, Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, retired police dog trainer Mark Tasker and guide dog owner Sean Dilly. - Credit: Archant

The North Herts based petition to give police dogs and horses equal status to police officers has almost reached the 100,000 signatures needed for it to be debated in the House of Commons.

From right, Stevenage MP Steven McPartland, retired police dog trainer Mark Tasker and guide dog own

From right, Stevenage MP Steven McPartland, retired police dog trainer Mark Tasker and guide dog owner Sean Dilly. - Credit: Archant

The petition was set up after police dog Finn and his handler PC Wardell were stabbed in Stevenage a fortnight ago.

If the government accepts it, the law could be changed so that anyone who attacks a police dog will face assault charges instead of just criminal damage.

The campaign – which is being backed by Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland, retired Herts police dog handler Mark Tasker and guide dog owner Sean Dilly, among others – featured on the Good Morning Britain breakfast TV show this morning.

Mr McPartland has pledged he will raise the issue in parliament and call for ministers to widen the scope of ‘Finn’s Law’ so it includes all working animals, including guide dogs and care dogs.


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The petition has received the most backing in Stevenage with 1,519 signatures so far.

Mr McPartland told the Comet: “Absolutely horrendous attack. I have been out on patrol with the police dogs and seen first hand the amazing work they do helping to keep us safe and locate vulnerable people.

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“It is unacceptable what has happened and I am pleased both the officer and Finn are recovering.”

The Tory MP’s role as chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Child & Youth Crime gives him experience in dealing with knife related issues.

He added: “Knife crime is a growing concern, as the damage caused when used is always life changing and often life threatening. Many young people carry knives to protect themselves or intimidate others, but they do not realise that they destroy lives. Families are torn apart, you will go to jail or hospital or both.”

Watch the GMB programme here.

Sign the petition here.

You can back the Comet’s knife crime campaign using the #CowardsCarryKnives hashtag.

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