Further criticism for police following Hitchin dog attack

The injuries sustained by Xaine Leake following an alleged attacked by a German shepherd

The injuries sustained by Xaine Leake following an alleged attacked by a German shepherd - Credit: Archant

An eyewitness to a dog attack which left a nine-year-old boy with facial injuries says she has not been contacted by police – despite the force already being criticised for a lack of action.

The woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, called Hertfordshire Constabulary after reading an article about the attack on Xaine Leake in the Comet two weeks ago.

Xaine’s parents, Michelle Haynes and Michael Leake, have said officers have done very little since their son was set upon by a German shepherd dog on the Westmill estate in Hitchin on August 14.

He suffered three bites to his face, two to his back and three to his arms.

The eyewitness said: “I called the police on the 101 number and left my contact details and was told someone would call me back, but no on did. I heard the owner of the dog say that she had to get the dog home before it bit someone else. They boy was shaken up. It’s just typical of the police they have been extremely complacent and I still see the dog around. It’s pathetic.”

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Miss Haynes said: “There has been plenty of time for the police to come round or to arrange an interview with Xaine, but nothing has been done. If need be I’m sure that they could go to his school to interview him, but he has been on school holidays and has only gone back in the last week. They are useless, I have no faith in them and it is totally ridiculous. They have not taken any action and we still continue to see the dog without a muzzle on it.”

A police spokesman said: “We have been in close contact with the victim’s family to ensure they are fully updated on the status of the investigation and this contact is on-going.

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“While we appreciate the family may feel frustrated, it is vital to secure best evidence should any criminal action be deemed appropriate.

As part of this process specially trained officers need to speak with the victim in a controlled environment. However in the meantime, we have made attempts to reassure the family that work behind the scenes is taking place and inquiries have been, and continue to be conducted to trace and speak with witnesses and follow up lines of inquiry.”

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