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Protecting our pets – response to national dog theft survey

Crime / Mon 15th Mar 2021 at 04:34pm

WE must do more to help protect your pets – that’s the message we’ve heard loud and clear from the thousands of people who have taken part in our national survey about dog thefts.

More than 124,000 people took part in the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Survey and over 11,000 from the East of England (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk). 

The results have been published today (Sunday) to mark the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance Dog Theft Awareness Day and the start of Pet Theft Awareness Week.

Out of those who participated in the survey 418 have had a dog stolen, but over 27,000 knew somebody who have had a dog stolen. 94% had seen reports of dog theft on social media with the majority seeing them on facebook book and in community pages. Pleasingly 92% of participants said they would report it to the police if it happened to them, though 65% said they had become more fearful of dog theft over the last year. 

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “We have had an overwhelming response to the survey. Thank you to everyone who has taken part. 

“We are fortunate in Essex to have had a low number of reported dog thefts but even those few are too many especially for those directly affected. We can and must do more to protect our pets. As dog owners we understand the impact that this crime can have, and these survey results clearly show the strength of feeling within our communities. 

“I am pleased to see the positive way Essex Police has responded to the increased public attention on this subject, including their efforts to find stolen dogs and help people know how to protect their pets.

“It is clear to me that the issue is important to you and we need to do more to strengthen the law, change how pet theft is reported and increase awareness and prevention activity so that you all know how to keep your dogs safe and protected.

“I will be speaking to the Home Secretary to provide my thoughts and input into the review of dog thefts that she has started. I will also be working with my colleagues across the country to look for ways we can help forces work together to provide a robust deterrent and will continue to work in Essex to keep our owns pets safe. Please be assured we will be acting on your comments and views and taking this forward.”

To help reassure residents, Essex Police has produced this handy advice. You can also download some top tips from local Dog Watch groups.

Results of survey are below.

https://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/results-of-the-apcc-dog-theft-survey.pdf

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