Cards containing medical information and advice are being handed out to people who have been bitten by a police dog.
However, many believe that the cards will give criminal offenders the medical evidence they need to make a compensation claim for personal injury.
The cards tell the recipients that they have been bitten by a police dog, and that they “strongly recommend” seeking medical advice from a hospital.
They go on to tell the bitten person how to clean and treat the wound and explain the symptoms of infection if left untreated.
Police have been confused by the introduction of the cards. One officer said: “These cards are basically saying we have done something wrong even if we’ve caught them red-handed.
“By giving suspects these cards we are acknowledging that we have injured them and that is going to cause a flood of legal actions for the tiniest bites of scrapes suffered as they try to escape us.”
Inspector Luke Russell, head of Leicestershire Constabulary’s Dog Section, who had the ideas behind the new scheme said: “I wanted to make sure that when we legitimately use force we are ethical afterwards. We are causing the injury and we have got a duty of aftercare.”
Dog bite compensation can lead to large payouts. In 2007 a 14-year old was awarded £42,500 after being bitten by a dog whilst fleeing a knife fight.