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Dog thieves 'should face prison'

Thursday March 3rd 2016

Dog thieves who have a terrible emotional effect on pet owners should face tougher penalties and even prison sentences, an MP is claiming. Conservative Gareth Johnson told the Commons on Wednesday (March 2) that owners suffer "heartbreak" when pets are stolen.

The MP for Dartford wants penalties to reflect this more. Mr Johnson wants judges to take the emotional and not just the financial impact into consideration under any new sentencing guidelines.

Pet Insurance can cushion the monetary loss. But Mr Johnson says the loss of family dogs can have far longer, more serious repercussions than other stolen objects.

That is why he wants custodial options to be considered for this class of criminals, the Telegraph reports. Mr Johnson headed Wednesday's debate in parliament, which focused on how dog thefts are dealt with and reported. He believes that compulsory microchipping from April 6 is a positive force against the thieves.

But he says a crackdown on the criminals is still required. This means properly recorded and reporting such offences and justices meting out punishments which reflect the gravity of such crimes, Mr Johnson added.

Copyright Press Association 2016