The initial 2020 lockdown saw dog thefts rise by more than 50% throughout the nation. Compared to the same period the previous year, the UK experienced a 65% rise in dog theft related crimes. Thieves target specific breeds they then resale for extortionate prices.
However, according to the Hampshire constabulary the situation seems to be different in the local area. Inspector Korine Bishop spoke to HampshireLive on the second of March 2021. Bishop confirmed the rate of thefts has reduced compared to last year. During 2020, there were 26 reports of dog-theft related crimes across Hampshire. Since the beginning of 2021 only 10 incidents have been reported, the latest being the 5th of August. So far, 6 out of the 10 dogs have been safely returned to the rightful owners.
While Hampshire constabulary believe they have the situation under control, pet detective, Collin Butcher claims local police are not taking the dog-napping crisis seriously. The former detective inspector set up the UK Pet Detective Agency after more than 17 years in the Surrey and Metropolitan police forces. Butcher was called in by Douglas Embleton to aid in the recovery of his 95-year-old mother’s Corgi. The detective expressed his disappointment in Hampshire police in a BBC Radio 5 Live interview from March. Butcher claims he ‘didn’t get any help from Hampshire police’ as he believes they do not appreciate the severity of the situation. Butcher is struggling to understand why his pet detective services are in such high demand if the number of dog-thefts are as low as Hampshire constabulary claim.
Local police continue to urge dog owners to be vigilant but it seems Hampshire citizens are beginning to question whether the constabulary are trying their absolute best to combat this emerging predicament.