A woman in her twenties has died and another is in hospital after a dog attacked members of the public.
Surrey Police said officers were called to Gravelly Hill in Caterham at around 2.45pm on Thursday.
Armed officers rushed to the scene, with support from the National Police Air Service, and seized seven dogs in total, which all remain in police care.
The woman in her twenties was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Formal identification has yet to take place, but her next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.
Police said a second woman is in hospital receiving treatment for dog bites and her condition is not life-threatening.
Chief Inspector Alan Sproston said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the woman who sadly died this afternoon. This incident will be concerning to the local community and I would like to reassure them that we believe all dogs have been accounted for and are in police custody.
“Our investigation to establish the circumstances of the incident remains ongoing and we would ask the community not to speculate.”
Claire Coutinho, MP for East Surrey, said: “My thoughts are with the loved ones of the lady who has died following a dog attack in Caterham this afternoon. Another lady was injured but is thankfully recovering in hospital.
“Thank you to the paramedics for their efforts at the scene, and officers from Surrey Police who controlled the situation so quickly.”
A post mortem examination will be carried out on the body of the woman who died to ascertain the exact cause of her death.
An inquest will be opened and adjourned by the Surrey coroner at a later date.
Several road closures are in place around Gravelly Hill and officers remain at the scene.
Gravelly Hill, where the average house price is just below £700,000, lies parallel to the long distance walking route the North Downs Way. The area is popular with ramblers, cyclists and dog walkers.
Police have not yet made any arrests in connection with the incident. By law, the owners of dogs that kill someone may be jailed for up to 14 years or face an unlimited fine or both.
Owners of dogs that injure someone may be sent to prison for up to five years or fined or both.
Anyone convicted of having a dog “dangerously out of control” may face an unlimited fine or be jailed for up to six months, or both.
The number of injuries from dog bites has been increasing in recent years. Between 1998 and 2018, hospital admissions for dog-related injuries doubled in England, with about 8,000 people admitted each year.
At Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool, the number of children attending A&E for dog bites tripled during the first Covid lockdown.
2022 was the worst year on record for dog-related deaths. There are believed to have been nine people killed by dogs last year in England and Wales. Between 2001 and 2021, the average was 3.3 dog-related deaths a year.
In January, John William Jones, 68, died after being bitten by dogs at a house in Ceredigion, west Wales.
Two months later, Kyra King, a three-month-old baby, died from her injuries following an attack by her family’s husky in Lincolnshire.
A fortnight later, 17-month-old Bella-Rae Birch died after being attacked at her home in Liverpool. A week after that, a two year old boy, Lawson Bond, died after being mauled to death by three dogs in Worcestershire.
Joanne Robinson, 43, was killed by her dog at home in Rotherham in July of last year after her mother warned her to get rid of him because he had started fighting with her other dog.