Pet Theft is on the increase and it can mean the loss of a beloved friend.
I think sentencing guidelines need to reflect the pain and upset this causes.
Losing the companionship of a pet at any time is a terrible blow but to have a pet stolen, sometimes with the threat of violence or actual violence, is horrendous and because pet theft is low risk and high reward it is attracting organised crime.
Dog ownership has increased during the pandemic and the price of pets has risen. Pet thefts have risen by 250% in some areas and are now at their highest levels.
Because punishments are often related to the monetary value of a pet, they usually result in small fines. I think pets are different to material possessions and the theft of them warrants stronger punishment.
The Theft Act of 1968 already allows a maximum penalty of up to 7 years so I don’t believe we need a change in the law but with the majority of prison sentences awarded being under six months a review of sentencing guidelines is required.
The Government has already increased sentences for people who mistreat animals, and has tackled puppy farming. I will work with our MPs to press for increased sentences for those that steal pets too.
I'd like to understand the scale of Pet Theft in Staffordshire. Please fill in my survey. Let me know if you have been affected by this and if you support my campaign for stiffer sentences.