canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
2BR has got hold of figures showing dangerous dog attacks have increased by 70% in two years.

We asked Lancashire Police to tell us how many of these incidents they investigated.

In 2014, they recorded 162 dangerous dog attacks.

But the year after, that had shot up to 499.

Last year, they had to investigate 545 incidents involving dangerously out of control dogs

What are dangerous dogs?

Any dog has the potential to be dangerous, especially around very small children, and dogs should always be supervised.

However, there are four types of dog which are prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991 as amended in 1997).

They are Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero type dogs. The Act deliberately uses the word 'type' as the law does not only apply to 'pure' breeds. Types are defined by the physical and behavioural characteristics of the prohibited dog.

Advice and support

If you have one of the banned breeds it may still be possible for you to keep the dog subject to certain restrictions.

Lancashire Police have experts, Dog Licensing Officers (DLOs), who can assess and identify prohibited dogs. If you're not sure whether your dog is one of the listed types, contact them.

While it is an offence to own a dangerous dog, if the dog attacks someone the offence becomes much more serious and carries far greater penalties.

All dogs should be in the charge of people capable of handling them. For large, powerful dogs, whether or not they are listed as dangerous, this should always be an adult. It is illegal to allow any dog to be out of control in a public place.