IPCC to investigate death after police dog bite

Irene Collins' home
Image caption Irene Collins was attacked by the dog in the kitchen of her home

The death of a woman who was attacked by a police dog is to be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Irene Collins, 73, was bitten several times by the German shepherd after police went into her garden in Middlesbrough searching for a suspected burglar on 16 July.

She was taken to hospital but died in hospital four days later.

Cleveland Police had referred the case to the watchdog voluntarily.

'Terrible incident'

Speaking after Mrs Collins death, Assistant Chief Constable Sean White said: "Members of Cleveland Police share the grief that is felt and we all wish to express our sincerest condolences to the family.

"The police dog involved has been withdrawn from operational policing activities."

IPCC Commissioner Cindy Butts said: "This is a tragic death, and my thoughts are with Irene's family and friends during what must be a devastating time.

"I would like to assure them we will be conducting a thorough investigation into Cleveland Police and the police dog's contact with Irene.

"We will be examining any relevant force guidelines and policies in order to get a full understanding of how this terrible incident occurred."

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