LONDON, March 12 (UPI) -- Police forces in the United Kingdom say they have paid nearly $1.5 million in compensation to people bitten by police dogs over the past three years.
One victim was paid nearly $100,000, and the greater Manchester Police paid out more than any other agency, shelling out nearly $350,000, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.
Statistics indicate 2,725 suspects were bitten by police dogs, along with 196 police staff and 155 members of the public at large. Eight police departments reported more than 100 dog bites in the past 36 months.
"Police dogs are a valuable and essential resource which, when used effectively, make a valuable contribution to reducing and detecting crime and disorder and building safer communities," said Nick Ingram of the Association of Chief Police Officers.
In Cheshire, police paid about $20,000 to a 13-year-old boy who was bitten on the back. In Durham, police paid nearly $14,000 to a victim bitten while running past an off-duty police officer exercising his dog.
West Midlands Police reported the largest number of bites, with 644. It paid out a total of $160,000, while the Metropolitan police paid out nearly $200,000.