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Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner asks for dog owners to respond to survey on theft

Residents concerns and experiences of pet theft are being sought in a new national survey.

Lincolnshire’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) Marc Jones has urged dog owners 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.

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones.
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones.

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 and 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. 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.

He said: “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 urged the home secretary to consider the introduction of tougher measures to prevent pet thefts and increase sentences to offenders.

The survey will be open until 5pm on Friday. Visit: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dogtheft

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