DANGEROUS dogs and irresponsible owners are being targeted by police in Haringey amid a London-wide surge in reports of dog fighting and the breeding of illegal animals for profit.

A new pilot scheme to combat problems linked to dangerous dogs has been launched by officers in Bruce Grove and will be rolled out across the borough in the future. It is now a policing priority in the ward after residents complained of feeling frightened and intimidated by animals in local streets and parks.

It comes as a 27-year-old woman from Tottenham is due to appear at court having been arrested and charged with possessing a fighting dog as well as two breaches of animal welfare laws.

And a man from Haringey was arrested two weeks ago for advertising his illegal pit bull cross as a stud – allegedly charging £200 per insemination in an advert posted on the internet.

Though vets in Haringey say they are being inundated with animals suffering injuries consistent with dog fighting, police admit the majority of these reports are not being passed to them and are urging anyone with information to make contact.

Sergeant Matt Casey told the Advertiser: “This is the first time Haringey has had its own problem-solving response to dangerous and out-of-control dogs.

“We plan to target irresponsible dog owners who let their animals off the lead in parks when they shouldn’t, those who possess prohibited breeds and then, at the other end of the scale, people who are breeding prohibited dogs and using them in fights and other types of criminality.

“We’ve found no evidence yet that there are breeders like this in Haringey but it’s something we’re looking at because of the sheer numbers of mongrel pit bull breeds – they have to be coming from somewhere.”

Officers are also keen to discover whether organised dog fights are taking place within the borough, though they have no first-hand information of this so far.

Haringey police officers are liaising with the Met Police’s Status Dogs Unit, visiting primary schools to educate young would-be dog owners and have also been handing out information packs in dog-walking hotspots such as Downhills Park in West Green Road and Lordship Recreation Ground in Lordship Lane.

Police will host an event at Lordship Rec on Sunday, July 3, where people can find out more about responsible dog ownership from police and vets.

A drop-in information session will also take place at Goddard Vets in Bruce Grove between 4-5pm on June 9.

Anyone wishing to report crime regarding dangerous dogs should call 999 in an emergency, Bruce Grove SNT on 07920 233789 or the Met Police on 0300 123 12 12.