Police have moved to clarify their position on a dog attack on a swan in Lurgan Park at the weekend.
In a post on social media they refuted a statement from their own press office which said ‘no police action was taken’.
Craigavon PSNI posted: “Folks, we’re aware of an incident in Lurgan Park at the weekend which involved a dog allegedly attacking a swan. There has been plenty of comment on that over social media in the past few days including a rather misleading one that ‘Police took no action’.
“To be clear: the incident first came to light on Sunday via a private Facebook account. The first proper report to ourselves (that’s when someone calls into the station or phones 101) was from the owners of the dog, reporting that there had been an incident.
“Since then we have had two second hand reports from people who were aware of it, but hadn’t witnessed it. That lead us to get in contact with the person responsible for the post earlier today (Wednesday) to gather some details on what happened.
“In order for a criminal investigation to take place, we would need evidence in the form of proof that this was a deliberate act on the part of the owners. Without that, and with the added fact that the first people to come to us were the owners themselves, it is not so much that we ‘Took no action’, but that there was nothing to act on.
“The owners have been advised about keeping their dog on a lead, the park rangers report no sign of a dead or injured swan, and the dog warden has spoken with the owners.
“If you belive you have witnessed wildlife crime or have knowledge of it, look here. https://www.psni.police.uk/advice_informati…/animal-welfare/
If a criminal investigation takes place into anything, uncontrolled public commentary and social media speculation on it can damage any court proceedings. We take crime against animals very seriously, however as with every crime there is a correct way to go about reporting it.