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Theft: Criminal Investigation

Question for Home Office

UIN 50022, tabled on 15 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to improve the effectiveness of the investigation of suspected (a) theft and (b) dog theft offences.

Answered on

24 September 2021

Investigation of suspected theft is a matter for the police. The Government is committed to recruiting 20,000 more police officers in England and Wales by March 2023. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the police have now recruited an extra 9,814 officers, 49% of the 20,000-officer target.

We recognise the distress dog and indeed all pet theft causes and are committed to doing more to prevent these cruel crimes. As part of the work of the Government’s Pet Theft Taskforce, which launched on 8 May, we have assembled evidence and considered the issue from end to end, including causes, prevention, reporting, enforcement and prosecution.

The report of the Taskforce was published on 2 September and as well as recommending a new pet abduction offence, the Taskforce recommended the Government continues to work with the police to improve consistent recording and data collection of pet thefts, and makes improvements to pet microchipping to support the identification of lost and stolen dogs.

The report of the Taskforce can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-theft-taskforce-report

Answered by

Home Office