Thorny issue over man's best friend
It's the "deed not the breed".
A phrase I keep hearing more and more often now.
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 has been controversial. Passions clearly run high on this subject and the law is expected to be reviewed.
Meanwhile, four breeds of dog are banned under the legislation. Many owners of so-called "attack" dogs feel particularly aggrieved when they get a knock on the door by a Metropolitan Police officer and their pet is taken away.
It's becoming increasingly common these days. More than 1700 dogs have been seized in the past 18 months by the Met's specialist Status Dogs Unit.
Today I was out with the local borough police in Harrow.
They have a new "breed" of cop called a Dog Legislation Officer (DLO). There are only 24 of them in the country.
Harrow is the first borough in the capital to have their very own dedicated dog expert to speed things along, identifying quickly whether the animal is banned and potentially saving money on expensive kennel fees.
The Metropolitan Police Authority only recently authorised £10.6 million pounds to pay for kennelling.
The new DLO role is funded by the Met and the local council.
It was a direct response to a vicious attack on a man out walking his dog in Harrow on New Year's Eve.
The borough, like many other areas in London, has a problem. It's unclear if this idea will catch on.
This afternoon, one owner who had her 11 month old dog seized was distraught.
But she can be comforted by this thought. She may have it returned even if it's categorised as a banned breed.
The DLO officer told me if the owner is deemed responsible and the dog is properly socialised, then it could be exempted by the magistrates' court.
It would, however, have to be muzzled and kept on a leash in public, registered and insured, neutered, tattooed and receive a microchip.
There are many issues here. I've reported on gangs using them not just for status but as weapons.
So do you feel safe in your local park? Have you had your dog seized? Is the Met overreacting? Your thoughts please!