THE LOW DOWN ON LINCOLNSHIRE’S PET THEFTS

Your dog is often one of your closest companions, a furry friend who is always there to greet you when you come home. However, it can be very distressing if your pooch is stolen. That’s why we, at The Insurance Emporium, have been looking into pet theft statistics. You might have heard us on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, seen us on BBC Look North or noticed our name on the BBC website talking about how Lincolnshire has been ranked the pet theft capital of the UK. Here’s all you need to know about the pet theft statistics in this particular county.

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Information from across the nation

 Previously, we sent a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to police forces across Britain to find out about the number of instances of pet thefts. After gathering the results from across the country, we found that Lincolnshire had seen the highest rate of dogs stolen per capita. In 2017, a total of 152 dogs in Lincolnshire police force’s area were taken last year. This is 58 per cent up from 2016. What’s more, Lincolnshire’s 2017 figures represent eight per cent of all dog thefts across the country for that year.

Most-stolen breeds

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The 152 dogs that were stolen in Lincolnshire included 50 Staffordshire bull terriers, 24 King Charles spaniels and 20 Chihuahuas. Many of these dogs were stolen from breeders’ premises while they were still puppies. Pet Theft Awareness co-founder Richard Jordan said: “With its large farming community, the county has many more dog breeders than most parts of the country and it’s becoming far too common for entire litters of pups to be taken in a single raid.”

Why Lincolnshire?

Part of the reason why statistics might have shown Lincolnshire as a hot spot for pet theft could be threefold; more people owning dogs, thieves taking several dogs at once and a greater level of transparency in local police reporting of dog theft all could have contributed to the results. A spokesperson for Lincolnshire Police said: “We are a rural county with lots of farms, kennels and country properties, so the level of dog ownership is probably much greater than in some areas.”

In the news

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Journalists at the BBC got in touch with us about our figures following a recent sentencing in Lincolnshire where thieves were given suspended sentences for taking 15 King Charles spaniels. This turned news reporters’ attention to how many dogs were being stolen in the county, with our statistics proving to be eye-opening for some. It also has helped to spur campaigners’ calls for tougher penalties on pet theft.

Are sentences fair?

The Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance started a petition earlier this year, asking the government to reclassify pet theft as a crime in its own right. At present, when a pet is stolen, the crime is classified in the same way as if an inanimate piece of property was taken. Currently, the maximum penalty is seven years in prison. The petition, which has received over 100,000 signatures, suggests that the monetary value of a family pet should not be used to categorise the crime when a thief is being sentenced.

Pets are very precious members of the family, so it’s often devastating when a furry friend is taken. It’s important to tell police as soon as possible if your dog has been stolen. Even if your companion hasn’t been a victim of pet theft, you might wish to get insurance for peace of mind. Our Dog Insurance policies include cover for Loss By Theft Or Straying for up to £1,500* and Advertising & Reward for up to £850* as standard. New customers could also get up to 30% discount, including a 20% Introductory Discount^. If you think this could be useful, get in touch with The Insurance Emporium today.

*Cover amounts shown are available on lunar monthly Gold Time Limited, Maximum Benefit and Lifetime policies only.

^The 30% discount is available on lunar and calendar monthly policies and policies where the premium is paid annually. It is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-pet Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.

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