A CLEVELAND police dog has been put down after biting a handler while another of its dogs will be destroyed after attacking a pensioner who died days later.

A member of police staff was treated in hospital after suffering bites to his lower arm. The incident happened at about 1.30pm on Thursday, August 14, inside the force’s kennels in North Ormesby, Middlesbrough.

Assistant Chief Constable, Sean White, said the dog was due to retire from duty in a month and has been put down after it failed a safety test following the incident.

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“Bites to dog handlers and police staff do occur during the handling and training of dogs as by their nature, they can be unpredictable and are used in environments that involve large scale public order, criminal use of firearms and crowd control.

“Dog handlers and staff are trained to a high level in order to recognise behaviours.

“The matter has been referred to the Health and Safety Executive and the Force’s Professional Standards Department, as is normal procedure.”

He added: “The incident occurred away from the public and no members of the community were at risk.”

Meanwhile, a police dog searching for a drug suspect that savaged 73-year-old Irene Collins inside her Middlesbrough home on Penrith Road last month will be destroyed following a probe by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

On July 16 officers were searching for Mohammed Zakwan Rashid, 18, when the dog attacked Ms Collins who died on July 20 at the town's James Cook University Hospital.

Rashid later pleaded guilty to three charges at Teesside Crown Court and will be sentenced on September 3.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: “A decision has been made by Cleveland Police that the police dog involved in the incident at Penrith Road on July 16 should be put down. As the IPCC investigation is continuing, it is appropriate to wait until all enquiries relating to the dog have been concluded prior to this action being taken."