Theft of pet dogs

I was contacted recently by a local resident who was concerned about the growing incidents of pet dogs being stolen. I wrote to Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner to ask what was being done to tackle the crime and here is his reply:


Dear Cllr Maxfield

Following your email of the 26th March 2021.  I can advise the following in relation to the theft of dogs in Norfolk.

Reports of this nature are taken seriously and all of these crimes will be reviewed for their investigative potential.

Stealing a dog is a criminal offence and classified as an offence of theft.  If you are aware of any instance please make sure it is reported.  At the very least the information contributes to the picture the police have around what is happening.  Police need information and intelligence from the public that can help them target and stop the criminals operating in this area.  A recent example of this is from 11th February 2021 where police received a call from a member of the public and a subsequent call from another person providing further information that allowed a vehicle to be identified, and then an address and the investigating officers recovered a number of stolen dogs back to their owners.  Two people were arrested and are currently on police bail in relation to this matter.

Norfolk Police has pet micro-chip scanners in all 18 of its Safer Neighbourhood Team patrol bases across the county.  This helps were a dog has a chip to quickly identify the owner’s details.

Norfolk Constabulary will proactively appeal for information around these cases and support efforts to raise the profile on the issue, along with issuing proactive crime prevention advice.

Norfolk Constabulary acknowledges the public concern expressed operationally and through correspondence into the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.  As a result of correspondence between the Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner the Deputy Chief Constable wishes to emphasise the importance the Constabulary gives this matter.  In addition, in order to respond to the emerging issue, he will appoint a force specific point of contact to –

  • Maintain a link with the emerging national work
  • Periodically oversee a review of crime rates locally
  • Work to develop corporate recording processes for animal theft
  • Ensure continued development and sharing of appropriate crime prevention advice
  • Ensure continued periodic community messaging to inform the public on the situation, appeal for help and update on police activity


  • The indication is that the theft of dogs has increased nationally.
  • The Deputy Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner have corresponded, and the Deputy Chief Constable will continue to monitor the Constabulary response when dealing with victims and investigating these crimes.
  • There is a national working group looking at the intelligence and development opportunities and Norfolk will support its work.
  • Partners including the RSPCA and DEFRA are involved.
  • Whilst the data indicates that the situation is stable in Norfolk the Constabulary takes the matter seriously.
  • There are three key drivers to consider around improving –
    • Buy from a reputable source
    • Crime Prevention Advice
    • Public support – provide the intelligence and information to help police act
  • Op Randall has issued crime prevention advice.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

Yours sincerely

Lorne Green

Police and Crime Commissioner