No charges after dog attacked duck at popular beauty spot in East Boldon
In June, Northumbria Police and the RSPCA appealed for information after a incident at the Tilesheds Local Nature Reserve.
Local residents had reported seeing a group of youths encouraging their dog to attack a male Muscovy duck.
The duck is well-known to locals who use the reserve on a regular basis, as one of a pair of Muscovy ducks which had made the pond their home for a number of years.
After being taken to the vet, the animal was put down due to severe injuries.
This week, police confirmed no charges had been brought against the youths involved.
“There was an incident where a duck was killed by a dog at the Tilesheds Nature Reserve in June, there were a number of posts all over social media and four youths involved were identified who were all arrested ,” Acting Inspector Dave Stobbs, said.
“The dog had apparently been accidentally set loose so there were no charges brought against the youths.”
Stobbs was speaking at Thursday’s (July 23) virtual West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum (CAF), which was held via videolink and broadcast on YouTube.
The police officer was delivering a report from Sergeant Julie Beattie who was unable to attend the CAF meeting.
Councillors heard there had been a large rise in antisocial behaviour incidents in the area during lockdown, with police regularly using dispersal powers to tackle groups of youths.
Cllr Joan Atkinson, who represents Cleadon and East Boldon, thanked police for their hard work during “extenuating times.”
“When people were out for their daily walk they were really appreciating the beauty that we have in South Tyneside but then they were challenged with the litter that was left at some of the beach spots and some of the anti-social behaviour,” she said.
“The Tilesheds incident where the duck was killed by a dog let loose, that caused a lot of anxiety for residents here who value the Tilesheds and people beyond Cleadon and East Boldon in the Biddick Hall and Whiteleas community also.
“I’m disappointed that there were no charges brought against anyone for that.”
RSPCA chiefs previously said the Tilesheds incident could have been avoided and warned dog owners to be aware of wildlife and to “keep their dog under control at all times.”
In response to comments at the CAF meeting, police said the result of the [dog attack] investigation would have been “proportionate” and scrutinised with the Youth Justice Service.
Cllr Atkinson, who also serves as cabinet member for area management and community safety on South Tyneside Council, added: “Obviously we had someone very kindly replace the duck with the same species.
“So that just shows how people are really caring about our wildlife.”