East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight welcomes new pet theft taskforce move
East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has praised the decision to launch a new taskforce investigate the reported rise in pet thefts.
The taskforce will be mandated to investigate and draw up an action plan to tackle these crimes.
Sir Greg is one of a number of MPs who have been pressing the Government to act following the massive increase in pet thefts that has occurred during the pandemic.
Over the past few months, a considerable increase in puppy and kitten prices has taken place and recent reports suggest that this may be leading to a rise in pet theft.
Stealing a pet is already a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968, with offenders facing a maximum penalty of seven years in prison, but the courts rarely impose maximum sentences on those convicted of the offence.
The taskforce will comprise Government officials from DEFRA, the Home Office, and the Ministry of Justice as well as representatives of the police.
Sir Greg said: “Treating the theft of a pet the same as the theft of an inanimate object, such as a mobile phone, is wrong.
“Pets are much-loved members of the family and there is great emotional stress caused when one is stolen. This should be reflected in the punishment metered out to the thieves involved.’