Should there be changes in the law when it comes to dog theft? Here's how to share your views
A national survey, designed to understand public perception of dog theft, has been launched and your views are wanted.
The survey, launched in partnership with the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners (APCC), also asks residents for their thoughts on the current enforcement and prosecution of offenders.
Having a common understanding of how the public feels about this issue will help inform discussions that PCCs and the Neighbourhood Watch Network will have nationally, as well as allow police forces to better understand the public’s views.
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, said: "Pet theft, dog theft in particular, is a growing concern for the public and their fear has been perpetuated over the last couple of weeks with shocking reports in the media of more dogs being snatched by criminals.
"I am incredibly eager to get more detail around this issue and understand residents’ views and if they feel more could be done to respond to their concerns or for more preventative measures to be put in place to better protect their pets.”
According to Dog Lost, the UK's largest lost and found dog service, it is estimated thefts have risen by 250 per cent, with criminal gangs involved.
The maximum prison sentence is seven years in prison but Home Secretary Priti Patel has promised to look at tougher measures to stem the ‘absolutely shocking’ recent rise in thefts.
The responses to this survey will help inform the discussions that PCCs will have on this issue nationally and allow police forces to better understand the public’s views on this crime and how they might improve their response to those concerns.
Mrs Bourne, who is leading the first national conversation with the public on this issue, said: “I am incredibly eager to get more detail around this issue and understand residents’ views and if they feel more could be done to respond to their concerns or for more preventative measures to be put in place to better protect their pets.
“I’m pleased to see the Home Secretary recognising the devastating impact of this crime and I hope that the results of this survey will give the Government the evidence it needs to take more robust action against perpetrators.”
The survey closes tomorrow, Friday March 12.
To take part in the survey, click here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dogtheft