A dog, it is said, is man’s best friend – but it seems he is not a friend of the Administrative Court. Their recent decision (Royal Mail Group Ltd v Richard Watson [2021] EWHC 2098 (Admin)) potentially significantly widens criminal liability for anyone who leaves their dog unattended at home with access to the letterbox if the dog takes a nip at the postman.

The Act

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was enacted in response to public concerns about uncontrolled dogs attacking people in public – and, in particular, certain breeds of dog. The Act was amended by s.106 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, so that the offence can now be committed in a private as well ...

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