Dog thefts in Staffordshire remain 'low' but pet owners should still stay vigilant

Police chiefs in Staffordshire have revealed pet thefts across the county are low amid growing concerns over dogs being stolen.

Staffordshire Police revealed the findings in a bid to help reassure people over a "perceived rise" in the offence across the area.

But the force has still called on people to remain vigilant – and take the necessary steps – to protect their beloved animals.

Chief inspector Mark Thorley, commander of Moorlands Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "The issue of dog thefts is something that is highly emotive and I can fully appreciate why. I am aware of the concerns over this offence and in response asked for some research to be carried out to understand the picture in Staffordshire.

"That initial research done by the force appears to show what I believed and that is cases are low in the county and incidents look to have fallen over the last year. We will continue to monitor these statistics in order to build up a final picture.

"I am aware of national reports and incidents that have been reported in the county but at this time it appears that Staffordshire does not have the perceived increase of dog thefts which people are concerned over."

It comes after the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has issued advise to owners following reports of dog thefts rising across the country.

Chief inspector Thorley added: "It is right that owners are vigilant and take the necessary steps to guard against dog thefts. We are aware of the figures from across the country and our officers respond to reported incidents in Staffordshire.

"But the issues in other areas of the country do not appear to be reflected here and while we ask people to be vigilant I would not want owners to be fearful. I want to reassure them that such thefts do not appear to be as prevalent locally as it may be nationally. Our officers are active in their communities to provide visibility and support."

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