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England and Wales see rise in dog thefts
Friday June 24th 2016
Dog thefts in England and Wales have shot up by more than a fifth over the last two years, figures have revealed.
According to data obtained through a Freedom of Information request, 1,490 dogs were reported as stolen in 2013, compared to 1,776 in 2015.
That is an increase of 22.3%, statistics from police forces that responded to the BBC's FOI request revealed.
In 2014, 1,776 dogs were stolen, while in the first four months of 2016, 423 pets were taken by thieves.
There have now been calls for measures to tackle the shocking rise in thefts.
In the wake of the findings, Conservative MP Gareth Johnson suggested that a specific crime of pet theft should be introduced.
Common targets for thieves include expensive designer breeds, such as miniature French bulldogs, and animals that are popular with celebrities, including pugs.
Mr Johnson said: "It would be good to have a specific offence of the theft of a pet.
"Too often, the theft of a dog is treated in the same way as the theft of a laptop or a mobile phone."
Copyright Press Association 2016