Dog Theft Survey
Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, is supporting a national survey designed to understand public perception of dog theft, enforcement, and the prosecution of offenders.
He is aware that there are concerns from dog owners across Essex, who are worried about their four-legged friends, following stories that have been circulating on social media and notices that have been placed in popular dog walking areas.
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Roger said: “As a dog owner myself I fully appreciate how alarming this can be. Dogs are part of the family and are a source of great love, comfort and companionship. This is particularly relevant now when we are all at home and walking our dogs is the one part of the day that we can look forward to. It’s important that we find out what is really happening in Essex so we respond effectively, allay fears and offer people relevant advice, so they are more confident about what the picture is, what is happening in response and what they can do to be safer.”
Essex Police says that though recent national reports have suggested that dog theft are on the rise, reports across Essex have fallen.
In 2019, the force received a total of 65 reports of dog thefts in Essex, and this fell to 60 in 2020.
So far this year it has received five reports of dog thefts, with all the dogs reported to have been stolen from homes or gardens.
Essex Police also has a Dog Watch scheme which encourages owners and walkers to be the extra eyes and ears within the community.
People can find out more about it here:
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 survey includes a question seeking views on whether pets should be treated in law as sentient beings, not merely as property. The public’s responses, which will be collected by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, will help inform 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.
The 60-second survey is open until 5pm on Friday 12th March.