Police commissioner candidate promises action on dog thefts


Mar 8, 2021
Breeds like French Bulldogs are now worth thousands. Photo: Vincent Garcia/Flickr.

The Conservative candidate for the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner elections has pledged to take a tougher stance on dog theft.

Philip Allott, who lives in Knaresborough, believes many frustrated dog owners feel some police forces treat the crime as low priority.

Mr Allott highlighted a survey showing dog thefts increased by 250% last year due to gangs cashing in on the demand for puppies during lockdown.

Sought-after breeds, such as French bulldogs, can sell for more than £5,000 and a litter can fetch £35,000.

If elected, Mr Allott would not be able to change operational police policy but he pledged to lobby those who can.

Last week he discussed dog thefts on a group call with Home Secretary Priti Patel, who said she would consider further action.

Voters will go to the polls on May 6 to elect a successor to Julia Mulligan.

The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner election was delayed last year due to covid.

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Mr Allott told the Stray Ferret today:

“The rising prices of dogs have made them a target for criminals. Most would probably make more money stealing a dog than a wallet.

“Laws are now relatively robust with sentences up to five years but many criminals receive just a caution or a fine.

“PFCCs cannot change the law but we can make representations. I have already been on a call with the Home Secretary and I have also shared a survey on Twitter.”

The following candidates so far have announced they are standing for election as commissioner:

  • Philip Allott, Conservative Party
  • Alison Hume, Labour Party
  • James Barker, Liberal Democrats
  • Keith Tordoff, Independent

The final list of nominations will be published on April 9.

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