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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I really need to speak to someone my life has been turned

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I really need to speak to someone my life has been turned upside down and im now scared to leave the house.
My dog had an altercation with another dog on the 11 feb . we stayed with the lady whos dog was attacked and at no point did she express concern that her dog was injured or even asked to exchange numbers which we would have happily don so as we are responsible dog owners. It turns out her dog required stitches. The lady whos dog was injured then started a facebook campaign in conjunction with warwickshire police where she has called for us to be hunted down and found. There have also been calls for us to be shot and various other threats made against us. The lady has made it sound like her dog had been savaged and that we as owners of the dog stood round and did nothing. We did everything right and now because of this post we have been made out to be terrible people and are now are now being hunted down. I contacted the police about the threats that had been made against us but the PCO who helped make the post refused to take it down. The post has now been taken down. Why without knowing the full facts has a police force got involved to such an. How has this happened. 4 innocent people are now fearful for there lives because this ladys lies and the post which warwickshire police collaborated with. We feel totally let down and want answers how something like this could have happened. We have handed over screen shots to the police and they are now investigating the matter. I just dont know what to do next, i feel suicidal because of this.

Hello - for clarification the PCO made Facebook posts against you?

what exactly did they put on FB?

what is the outcome you would like please?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The post was made in collaboration with Warwickshire police and the post was put up on the dog owners FB pace where she has been calling for mob justice. I contacted the police on Sunday but the post was not taken down. We have screenshots of the post and the threats and screenshots confirming that this post was made in conjunction with the police. We are good responsible dog owners and good people. Because of this post which was shared nearly 2000 times we have now had calls for gangs of people to get together and hunt us down and calls for us all to be shot. All i want is answers how this has been allowed to happen. Ive had my life turned upside down because of this. Ive had to take time off work because im scared to leave the house. The woman whos dog was injured has lied, there were 3 other people with me at the time who will be able to confirm what actually happened. im not denying my dog had an altercation with her dog but she has lied about the circumstances surrounding it and now we are fearful for our lives. I just want help getting answers. i can email you screenshots if you want. i want to know why if this post was made in conjunction with the the police no one was monitoring it and once they new about the threats why the post wasnt taken down.
Andrew.

Thank you. I find this absolutely incredible that the police should be involved with Facebook. Can you please explain how exactly the police got involved and have collaborated and supported these threats because I find that somewhat bizarre.

How did the posts come to be taken down?

What kind of dog is it?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The posts were taken down after i had spoken to the owners who gave me the PCOs number and after i confirmed i had been to the police she contacted the owners and informed them to take it down. I dont use Social media so i had no idea what was going on until a week after the post was put up. The police didnt support the threats but they colaborated in the making of the post which was the root cause of the threats. I contacted the police on sunday about the threats but the post wasnt taken down until monday evening. Why if they were involved why were they not monitoring it knowing how FB can wildly escalate things. please help me ive had my life turned upside down, i feel on the edge of a nervous breakdown
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
this is the dog owner who i spoke with, they knew since sunday that there had been threats against us but they refused to take down the post. The post wasnt taken down for almost 24 hours after they had been informed of the threats and the calls for mob justice
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
my dog is a greyhound whippet cross

Thank you. I am not certain who “she” is because obviously she is different than the owners from what you have said.

I don’t know what you mean when you say that the police collaborated in the making of the posts. Can you please expand on that? How do you know this? What exactly did they do? The screenshots that you have given me seemed intimate that something has been produced in conjunction with the police but only with regard to identification of the dog and the owner. In all honesty, I don’t think the police have had anything to do with this posting on Facebook unless you have some proof otherwise.

The only reason I asked what kind of dog it was is because if it was one of the Pit Bull types, they are very often looked on as being antisocial because of the very bad press during to the history of “dog violence”. It doesn’t justify or condone the actions of the posters but it can explain why it happens. Obviously not relevant in your case so we can discount that.

Have you had confirmation from the police that they were involved in these postings?

What result are you ultimately looking to happen?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
i informed the officer i spoke with today that the post was made in collaboration with one of its officers. This woman has lied about the circumstances of the attack and before knowing the full details the police have let her post this. im an innocent guy and a good dog owner. ive had my life completely ruined because of this. This post that the police collaborated with should have never been put up on social media. When i refer to she im refering to the dogs owners mum who was walking the dog at the time. When the incident happened we stayed with her for a good 10 minutes after and she never once asked to exchange phone numbers as her dog seemed shaken but didnt seem to be hurt to the extent it was. i have 3 other people that were there at the time that will confirm this. This has ended up in a witch hunt
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
the office said he will speak with the PCO involved
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
we are easily identifiable from the description and im well known across rugby as the man with dreadlocks with a polish partner and orange dog, im probably the only person in this country that fits that description
Did the police not realise that this might turn into a vigilante manhunt and why if they collaborated in the making of this post why were they not monitoring it knowing how highly emotive this sort of incident can be. i feel totally let down by the people you expect to be there protecting you.

Thank you. That doesn’t answer the question. You said that the post was made in collaboration with one of its officers. I need to know how you know that and what the circumstances are because the screenshot doesn’t say that.

If the PCSO how genuinely collaborated in this post (there is nothing in anything you have shown me that says he/she has) then you have a genuine complaint to make to the Chief Constable and I would do that in writing. In my opinion, if that has happened, it’s gross misconduct and it should lead to instant dismissal after the relevant disciplinary procedure.

Looking at screenshot 2, it says that there were 2 dogs but you haven’t mentioned that.

It does say that the dogs were running free and in a public space, that’s an offence. I can’t see anything in screenshot number three which is problematical except for the assumption about hunting in the last sentence. It’s something by the poster which says the police have issued a crime number (which they would do) and it’s only the word of the poster that the police are otherwise involved in urging people to inform them of the dogs are seen.

I cannot see anything from what you have sent me that say that the police were involved.

Because of the extent of the dogs injuries, and the fact that the dogs were not under control, there is a public safety issue here although that’s not something for a vigilante to take control of, that is a matter for the police to deal with privately from the injured party who presumably had your details.

Notwithstanding the fact that you may have committed an offence by not having the dog on a lead in a public space and not under control, it would appear that whoever the post up is merely venting their spleen and dressing it up as protecting other people. There is no benefit for the poster in doing this.

It was only one post, then it is not harassment but if there was more than one post, then you can make a complaint to the police (regardless of your potential offence or the circumstances) and ask for the poster to be warned under the Protection from Harassment Act. There are likely to be prosecuted but warned that if they did this again, they would face prosecution.

What you can also do if you wanted to spend some money is to take out a civil injunction for defamation and ask for an apology. Although you can be identified from the posts, I can’t see that there’s anything defamatory in those statements unless anything in there is untrue. It’s not something that I would be rushing to court over.

Can I clarify anything else for you?.

I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please take a moment to look at the top right hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen. It’s important you use the rating service because that gives me credit. It doesn’t just give me a pat on the head! (Although there is an incentive scheme where the more five-star ratings I get, I do actually get a pat on the head! :-)) All you need to do is press Submit. Thank you.

If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.

FES.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
thank you, ***** ***** concern is the fact the dog owners mum lied and she said that we didnt seem to care and thats made us out to be terrible people and has fanned the flames even more. We stayed with her long after the event to make sure her and the dog were ok and she even walked behind us as we were leaving. she didnt say anything about that.We are good owners and this is the first time anything like that has ever happened. We were as shaken as she was. i dont know why she has sensationalised it like this. the other dog is my sisters dog, he was there but wasnt involved in the incident. I understand that we needed to be found but her and the police have gone about it in totally the wrong way. I will leave you a 5 star reveiw, hope you enjoy your pat on your head. :-)