NORTH Wales Police has referred to a regulator an incident in which officers deliberately ran over and killed a dog on the A55.
Following a high level of public concern over the incident on Monday morning, which saw officers deliberately run over a dog having made several unsuccessful attempts to capture it, a spokesperson for North Wales Police confirmed that the incident has voluntarily been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Chief Superintendent Sacha Hatchett said: “Officers were forced to make a difficult decision, in difficult circumstances, with their overriding concern being the safety of road users.
“The A55 is a busy road, it’s the main route across North Wales servicing the local community and the Holyhead to Ireland ferry crossings.
“At the time of the incident it was dark on an unlit section of road with vehicles, including HGVs, travelling up to 70mph having to swerve to avoid the dog which was dangerously out of control, running across carriageways and head on into oncoming traffic.
“Every effort was made to catch the dog, including officers entering the carriageway and putting themselves at risk. Fearing that the dog was going to cause a serious or potentially fatal collision they took action which they believed to be necessary at the time.
“It was a fast moving incident, officers at the scene were in contact with the force control room and other options were considered. Officers used their vehicle to partially close the road, the use of firearms was also considered, but ruled out due to public safety. Regrettably the urgency of the situation meant that the decision was made by the officers at the scene to take the action that they did.
“At times we are called upon to destroy animals in the course of our police duties, and such decisions are never taken lightly. This decision was not taken lightly.
“In North Wales we have had people lose their lives in collisions caused by animals running loose on the road. We understand that people are upset that a dog was killed, the officers are also upset, it is regrettable, but we will never know what could have happened had such action not been taken.
“The force has voluntarily referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission because of the level of public concern. It is also being reviewed by the Force to ensure we examine options available to officersand we will liaise with RSPCA Wales and others in doing this.”
A spokesperson for North Wales Police added that the dog was micro chipped to an address and officers have contacted the owner who lives outside of Wales.