The Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro is encouraging Surrey residents to have their say on dog theft as part of a national survey to understand public perception of the crime.
The brief consultation, launched by the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners (APCC), is designed to gather the public’s views on enforcement, the prosecution of offenders and how police forces deal with dog theft when it is reported.
Although the number of reported cases in Surrey remains low, soaring prices for pets during lockdown has resulted in a rise in theft nationally. The cost of some puppies is currently as high as £3,000, making them a valuable commodity for organised criminals.
The Home Secretary is currently reviewing the issue of pet theft and what future enforcement may look like with potentially tougher penalties for perpetrators.
The PCC has written to her also backing calls made by the National Gamekeepers Organisation and others for the introduction of a national intelligence register which can help target those criminal gangs involved.
The 60-second survey was designed by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Sussex Katy Bourne’s office and can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dogtheft
The responses 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 these concerns.
PCC David Munro said: “The theft of a much-loved pet is a ruthless and selfish crime which often has a devastating impact on families whose sense of loss can be immense.
“This issue of dog theft was raised a number of times at our recent online community events so although the number of cases reported in Surrey thankfully remains low, it is clear to me this is a big concern for our residents.
“I have written to the Home Secretary expressing my support for a national intelligence register or unit which I believe could help target those organised gangs who are behind this type of criminality.
“I would encourage residents in Surrey to fill in this survey which can help build a picture of the public’s concerns around dog theft and help police forces to improve their response.”
The survey will be open until 17:00 on Friday 12th March.