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Current concerns around dog theft in Portsmouth

Alert message sent 02/02/2021 11:24:00

Information sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary


We are aware of the current social media attention around dog thefts and your concerns in relation to this.

Dog thefts, thankfully, are rare – where they do occur they are appalling crimes that cause huge amounts of stress and anguish to owners.

We are very often asked what we are doing about dog thefts, which is a difficult question to answer because we are simply not seeing them reported, or at least nowhere near the scale that people are currently concerned about.

To give you an idea of what we’re currently seeing, in the past year we have only had two reports of attempted dog theft by a stranger in Portsmouth, and no reports of actual dog theft by a stranger.

We do receive reports of suspicious incidents around dog theft, including people believing that they have had ‘signs’ placed outside of their properties to apparently indicate that there are dogs within to steal. Such concerns however are not substantiated by actual reports of dogs being taken locally.

It may be that some offences have not been reported to police. If a suspicious person approaches you and/or your dog please ensure it is reported to us. We take all reports of this nature very seriously – if incidents are not reported then we can’t target our patrols where they are needed the most.

Additionally, all dogs must now be microchipped by law, and any recovered can be very easily identified and reunited with their owners.

Dog theft is a crime that does occur nationally, but not at the rate that people often believe it to and certainly not within Portsmouth.

People love their pets and theft of them would be an immensely distressing event. A lot of the concern appears however to stem from social media. Many of these posts are created and shared with good intentions, but may actually cause undue concern and distress. Dogs are NOT being routinely stolen from across the city as some of these posts appear to indicate.

If you have been a victim of a dog theft or suspicious activity which has not yet been reported we really would like to hear from you. Please dial in on 101 or report online at www.hampshire.police.uk.

If you are in immediate danger please call 999.
Message sent by
Danielle Butler (Police, Communications Officer, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight)

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