The PCC is seeking residents concerns and experiences of pet theft
RESIDENTS’ concerns and experiences of pet theft are being sought in a new national survey championed by Lincolnshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
PCC Marc Jones has urged people to respond to the survey in the wake of a rise in thefts during the national lockdown.
The charity DogLost estimate that dog thefts have increased by 250 per cent since March 2020 - spurred by an increased demand for pets while people are forced to stay and work from home.
Animal Search UK, the country’s largest lost and found pet service, also claims the price of puppies has soared by more than 50 per cent since lockdown began – with some changing hands for as much as £3,000.
The responses to this survey, launched in partnership with the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners (APCC), will help inform the discussions that PCCs will have on this issue nationally with Marc Jones as the lead for serious organised crime spearheading action regarding the crime.
The current maximum prison sentence is seven years but Home Secretary Priti Patel has promised to look at tougher measures to stem the recent rise in thefts. In the vast majority of cases the current sentence handed down is a fraction of the potential seven years available.
PCC Marc Jones said the length of sentences needed to be more robust and the results of the survey would inform discussions about the need for change and the way forward.
“It never ceases to amaze me just how low some criminals will stoop. Whether its conning pensioners out of their life savings or stealing a family’s beloved pet or invaluable working dog they will literally do anything and they deserve to face harsh penalties.
“Clearly criminals are looking to capitalise on the rising cost and popularity of pets during the lockdown and I would urge people to be vigilant and careful not just with their own pets but when looking to buy one.
“If there is no market for stolen pets then the thefts will quickly stop. In the meantime I have spoken directly to the Home Secretary about this issue and urged her to consider the introduction of tougher measures to prevent pet thefts and increase sentences for offenders.”
The 60-second survey will be open until 5pm on Friday, March 12 and can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dogtheft