Rise in dog thefts across the cap­i­tal

Harefield Gazette - - News -

DOG thefts in London are among the high­est rates in the coun­try ac­cord­ing to a new re­port.

The Metropoli­tan Po­lice recorded 231 pooches were re­ported as stolen in the cap­i­tal dur­ing 2016, which was an in­crease of 5% from 2014.

Ac­cord­ing to new statis­tics, only 10% of the ca­nines stolen were re­cov­ered in the area by the po­lice.

Of the 1,774 stolen dog re­ports in the coun­try, five of which are ev­ery day, Stafford­shire bull ter­ri­ers are the most pop­u­lar vic­tims.

Head of pet in­sur­ance at Direct Line, which pro­duced the re­port, Prit Powar, said: “Hav­ing your dog stolen is ex­tremely dis­tress­ing, es­pe­cially when it hap­pens from within your own home.

“Sim­ple mea­sures like lock­ing doors and keep­ing the prop­erty se­cured will help de­ter thieves.

“Pedi­gree dog own­ers should be par­tic­u­larly vig­i­lant as these dogs can of­ten fetch thou­sands of pounds and have cer­tain char­ac­ter­is­tics to make it eas­ier for thieves to spot them.

“If the worst was to hap­pen, own­ers should make sure they re­port it to the po­lice im­me­di­ately and spread the word within their lo­cal com­mu­nity.

She said it was un­sur­pris­ing the Stafford­shire bull ter­rier is the breed most of­ten re­ported stolen, as it is one of the most com­mon in the UK.

“What is more in­ter­est­ing is the rise in the num­ber of flat faced dogs be­ing stolen, such as French bulldogs and pugs as this rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant trend in own­er­ship of these designer breeds,” she said.

“While we un­der­stand the de­sire to own these breeds, those who do may want to take ex­tra cau­tion when out walk­ing their dogs as their high price tag can make them a tar­get for po­ten­tial thieves.”

PHOTO: JOE GIDDENS/PA WIRE

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