Tougher sentences for pet theft welcomed by police and crime commissioner

Posted On 20 Nov 2021 at 10:23 am

Pet thieves face tougher sentences in a move welcomed by the Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne.

Mrs Bourne was a key member of the Pet Theft Taskforce which was set up in response to growing concern about people stealing dogs.

She said that it was good news that those who abduct dogs now faced up to five years behind bars under the Kept Animals Bill.

An amendment to the bill, she said, properly reflected the emotional distress caused by pet theft and followed recommendations made by the Pet Theft Taskforce.

Before this new offence, pet theft was treated merely as a loss of property to the owner which, she said, completely undermined the sense of loss and grief experienced.

Mrs Bourne said: “I’m delighted that the government has recognised the extreme distress, grief and sense of loss that pet theft can cause to both owners and their dogs with this amendment.

“In a landmark survey, which I conducted earlier this year, 87 per cent of respondents disagreed with the current classification of pets as mere property and wanted to see much harsher sentencing.

“Pets are a much-loved member of the family and the amendment to the Kept Animals Bill now reflects the lasting emotional impact that their theft can have.

“It also sends a strong message to thieves that they could face up to five years in prison.”

  1. Pointless Reply

    Good to know when I get murdered and\or raped on the way home they will lock the guy up if he touches my dog.

    Shows that her job being one that needs votes makes her focus on publicity and not real needs

    • Sal Reply

      Pointless just about sums up your comment, although Thoughtless would be more appropriate.
      The range of sentences for murder and rape have long had fairly widespread public support but there has been growing dissatisfaction with the sentences for crimes involving pets.
      The cat slasher in Brighton was a case in point. He maimed a load of cats and killed others, but their injuries and deaths were just counted as criminal damage.
      Perhaps it shows her job, reflecting voters concerns, ensures she keeps an eye on real needs.

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