The first police officer designated to crack down on pet theft has vowed that she will do ‘everything in her power’ to stop pets from being stolen.
Chief Inspector Amy Styles-Jones, who has three dogs of her own, said she understood how dogs are part of the family for many people and having one taken can be devastating.
She said: “I am really excited to take on this role which gives a great opportunity to understand what has been a really serious issue nationally over the last 12 months and I want to ensure we put our resources in the right places within the force to make sure it doesn’t become a local issue.
“I understand how concerning it is for people. As a dog owner myself I know it is an emotive issue and that you want to feel safe walking your dog or whilst at home or in your garden with your pets.
“I understand that for many people your dogs are part of your family and Nottinghamshire Police understands that as well which is why we are the first force in the country to appoint a lead for this type of crime.
“I want to reassure people that if you want to report any concerns about your dogs being stolen we will take that seriously. I also want to make it clear to anybody involved in dog theft or the mistreatment of animals that it will not be tolerated.”
The newly-promoted officer took up the first police role of its kind in the country on Friday, March 12 and will take a ‘strategic overview’ of dog thefts and mistreatment in Nottinghamshire.
Chief Inspector Styles-Jones’, of Nottinghamshire Police, says her role will also involve analysing trends, coordinating resources and working with other organisations to prevent and investigate crimes involving dogs.
She added: “As well as investigating dog thefts I am also keen to prevent them happening and there are a number of things pet owners can do to increase safety for themselves and their pets.
“One of the best things is to have your dog microchipped, make sure you keep your details up-to-date with the microchipping company and have them to hand if the worst should happen.
“This is one of the fastest ways that the police can track stolen animals and can really save you the heartache.”
Chief Inspector Styles-Jones, who will perform the role alongside a number of other duties and responsibilities within the force, will work closely with the officers who investigate individual dog thefts, including neighbourhood and response officers.
Part of her role will also be to work with partners and other forces to establish best practices in investigating this type of crime and work out how processes can be improved.
She added that around 50 per cent of dog thefts were from gardens and by securing fences, gates and perimeters it could help reduce this threat.
Chief Inspector Styles-Jones also advised people not to leave dogs unattended outside shops or in cars.
The new role was created after a survey revealed dog owners are increasingly fearful over their pets’ safety following growing cases of dog theft across the country during the pandemic.