Woman, 73, dies after being bitten by police dog
A Cleveland Police German shepherd (not pictured) bit the homeowner as officers searched her garden for a suspect
An elderly woman who was bitten by a police dog has died in hospital.
Irene Collins, 73, was attacked inside her Middlesbrough home on Wednesday as police searched for a suspect in her garden.
She died at James Cook University on the weekend.
Cleveland Police, which owns the German shepherd, has expressed its sincerest condolences” and has referred the matter to the The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
In a statement on the force’s Facebook page, police say that the dog involved has been withdrawn from its operational duties and that support is being offered to the officer who had been handling it at the time.
Assistant Chief Constable Sean White said: “Our thoughts are with family members, relatives and friends who will be distraught at this sad news."
Collins' death follows reports on Thursday that she had fallen ill after suffering a number of bites to her body, according to ITV News. A neighbour described her as "already very frail."
“The IPCC has been updated and will make a decision on how the incident should be investigated," Mr White added.
"We are providing the highest level of co-operation to the IPCC and seeking to support the family where it is possible to do so.
“We are committed to learning any lessons that may arise from the investigation and the daily use of police dogs remains operationally important in reducing crime and disorder and protecting the public. Our dogs are trained and licensed for use in accordance with national police guidance.”
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