Crewe residents reminded to protect pets - puppy costs rise over pandemic
By Ryan Parker
23rd May 2022 | Local News
Cheshire Constabulary is reminding Crewe residents to take some simple steps to protect their pets - following a rise in the cost of puppies over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Police Chiefs Council announced last week (May 20), that there has been a "considerable rise" in the cost of a puppy over the pandemic - although the demand is now changing as people return a normal living pattern.
There has been an increase in public awareness of puppy thefts, despite the national reports of the crime remaining low.
In Crewe, the reports of the pet thefts reflect the national statistics that this type of crime is currently low.
According to Crimerate.co.uk, so far in 2022 there have been 26 reports of theft from a person in Crewe - including pets and personal belongings.
This a rate of 0.35 per 100,000 people - slightly above Cheshire's rate of 0.21.
Chief Superintendent Gareth Wrigley said: "As the Force Lead for Pet Theft, I would like to draw attention to this concerning and emotional crime type.
"Nationally, Regionally and Locally we are proud to say that reports of crime are low but must be cognisant that one theft of a puppy or dog can lead to intense social media scrutiny.
"Please also keep an eye on your neighbourhood and report any suspicious activity to us so that we can make Cheshire a no-go area for dog thieves."
Cheshire Constabulary has outlined key ways to protect dogs from theft:
• When sharing pictures of your pets online, check social media privacy settings.
• Be aware and stay vigilant of strangers on your dog walks.
• Always be vigilant of anyone acting suspiciously or watching your dog.
• Avoid leaving your dog tied outside of a shop or other public spaces. If you have errands to run, leave your dog at home.
• Take care when using sitters and kennels. Conduct proper research, always check references and make sure you're using a reputable company.
• Keep your dog safe at home. Thieves can take advantage of an unsupervised dog left out in the garden. Always make sure side gates are always locked and keep an eye on them.
• Never leave your dog alone in the car, as they could make a tempting target for a thief as well as risking overheating. Always take your dog with you, and if that's not possible, then leave them at home.
The Blue Cross website has a wide range of advice on how to prevent theft of dogs and steps to take if this happens.
National Police Chiefs' Council lead for Acquisitive Crime, Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman said:
"There is a huge emotional impact on families who have their much-loved pet stolen from them.
"During the pandemic we saw the cost of a puppy rise considerably although demand is now changing as we return to a more normal living pattern.
"This encouraged some opportunistic criminals to take advantage of unsuspecting people by stealing dogs for illegal breeding or resale.
"Public awareness of this offence has increased - although national reports of this crime remain low."
Cheshire Constabulary would like to remind the public that rescue centres can often be a reliable and trusted source for those wishing to offer a home to a pet.
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