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Dog is put under house arrest by police

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: May 02, 2013

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A FORMAL complaint has been lodged against a police officer after an Exeter pub dog was placed under "house arrest".

Reggie, a four-year-old bearded collie dog, who lives at The Lighter Inn, Topsham, was left with his tail between his legs after being cautioned by PCSO Sarah Giles, who was acting on information received.

Reggie, who is known for his big eyes, easy-going temperament and love of chasing bar towels, is believed to have been seen wandering on the Quayside near the pub, and beyond.

PCSO Giles, who was at the centre of controversy last year because of her twitter content, was said to have taken action against Reggie while accompanied by another officer and a dog warden.

The result was that Reggie was confined to the upstairs of the pub.

The action has caused some uproar in Topsham, expressed on Facebook, where Reggie has his own site, and across Twitter, particularly after PCSO Giles Tweeted, just before the warning "just met with ECC Dog Warden, I love it when a plan comes together."

Reggie's owner and pub landlords Guy and Karen Bayliss, said they did not wish to comment on the matter as a formal complaint had been lodged with the police.

PCSO Giles, who owns three dogs, Sparkle, a Labrador, Chilli, a Scottish terrier and Ben, a three-legged collie, said that Reggie was "a lovely dog" but there had been complaints about him wandering alone on the highway.

She said: "People are very attached to their pets and can be inclined to takes these matters personally.

"I have tried to use as much discretion as possible but when I have complaints and local councillors raising these complaints with me, then I have to act.

"I am very much a dog lover but on a designated highway a dog must be on a lead and under control.

"What would happen if Reggie, who is a very friendly dog, jumped up on some child playing on the quay and pushed them over the edge?

"Reggie is a lovely dog but he has been ranging astray."

In October last year PCSO Giles was at the centre of some controversy when she claimed she had been told to stop Tweeting by Devon and Cornwall police following complaints from the Exeter Student Guild.

But Devon & Cornwall Police said only that PCSO Giles had been given words of advice around the content of Tweets, but has not been banned or stopped from Tweeting.

A spokesman added at the time: "The force has a social media policy which gives clear guidance to all staff on what is deemed appropriate, and in this case, training will now be given to the PCSO so she can better use social media in the future as an innovative communication tool."

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