North Yorkshire Police has set up a team dedicated to dealing with pet theft.
There have been 16 reports of pet theft in the year till the end of September, and 25 reports in 2020 – an average of two thefts a month. Recognising this is an ‘extremely distressing crime’, the force has appointed a pet theft lead and a small team of pet theft liaison officers.
They will coordinate an online training programme so all officers can “offer the best possible support to victims” of pet theft.
And they have created a leaflet and online resource to help officers support owners in keeping their pet safe, as well as providing up-to-date advice on what to do if your pet goes missing.
Head of North Yorkshire Police’s Dog Section, Sergeant Simon Whitby said: “As dog owners ourselves we completely understand the theft of a family pet is extremely distressing and a crime which has huge long-lasting emotional impact.
“We want to support all of our communities in keeping their pets safe and feeling safe, and this information leaflet is key to help us do that.
“The leaflet contains information and advice such as microchipping, reporting the theft, use of appealing through social media and where to get support.
“We want the public to know just how dedicated we are to tackling pet theft and that we take it extremely seriously.
“As well as advice and guidance on the investigation, our dedicated pet theft liaison officers can conduct reassurance visits to victims, including an accompanied dog walk to help victims feel more confident when walking their dogs.”