No charges brought against dog thieves in Nottinghamshire last year
Most dog thieves in Nottinghamshire got away with their crimes last year, data suggests.
The figures show that the majority of theft cases across the county recorded in 2020 were closed without a culprit being identified.
Of the 34 incidents of dog theft in 2020, there was no suspect in 20 of them.
And of all the 14 thefts in which a suspect was identified, only one caution was given.
Nationally, among the 27 police forces in England and Wales that responded to a Freedom of Information request with comparable data, 1,132 dog cases from 2020 had been wrapped up with an outcome recorded.
Of these, only five (0.4 per cent) resulted in a charge or summons, and one (0.1 per cent) in a caution.
When approached for comment, several police forces said the data on the number of thefts was lacking context, in that they were often linked to ownership disputes between ex-partners or family members – something that the lack of identifiable suspects would seem to contradict.
But things are looking up in Nottinghamshire as police have vowed to crack down on the crime.
A new dog theft lead, chief inspector Amy Styles-Jones, was appointed earlier this year.
The promoted officer, who has three pet pooches of her own, has now taken up the first police role of its kind in the country, which was created after a survey revealed dog owners were increasingly fearful over their pets' safety during the pandemic.
She said: "I understand how concerning it is for people.
"As a dog owner myself I know it is an emotive issue and that you want to feel safe walking your dog or whilst at home or in your garden with your pets.
"I understand that for many people your dogs are part of your family and Nottinghamshire Police understands that as well which is why we are the first force in the country to appoint a lead for this type of crime.
"I want to reassure people that if you want to report any concerns about your dogs being stolen we will take that seriously.”
Anyone who has their dog stolen is urged to contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.