How many dogs have been stolen from each London borough in the past 5 years
Since the first lockdown in March 2020, the UK, which was already a nation of dog lovers, has gone dog-mad.
As a result, the demand for dogs has never been greater, with more people looking for a four-legged companion during these troubling times.
The surge in dog ownership has driven up prices, with many dogs selling for thousands of pounds.
Sadly, dog thefts are also on the rise as criminals try to make money and London is the UK’s hotspot.
Over the past five years there have been a total of 1,409 dog thefts in London, with Croydon Police reporting the most with a total of 71.
Interestingly, the neighboring borough of Sutton recorded the lowest number of thefts, with just 16 during the same period.
Behind Croydon were nearby Lewisham in second (67), and Barnet and Bromley in third (both 64).
Data provided by Money.co.uk does not reveal the dog population of each arrondissement.
For context, Croydon and Barnet have the second and largest human population of any London borough, which may in part explain their high number of dog thefts.
Find out below the distribution of dog thefts in the arrondissement by arrondissement:
|Barking and Dagenham||7||6||12||11||13||49|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||3||6||9||11||15||39|
|Kensington and Chelsea||5||7||7||9||5||33|
|Richmond upon thames||9||2||1||5||7||24|
|Kingston upon thames||5||3||–||2||7||17|
After London, Leeds was the country’s second hotspot for dog theft, with 346 thefts in the past five years, followed by neighbors Bradford (244), Sheffield (129) and Huddersfield (128).
Employees account for just under a fifth of dog thefts in the UK
1. Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 367 flights
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are among the most popular dogs in the UK, so it might come as a little surprise that they are one of the most commonly stolen dogs.
If we also consider the different crossbreeds, Staffies account for 19.4% of dog thefts in the last five years.
2. Chihuahua – 163 flights
Not only are Chihuahuas naturally a very desirable dog, but their small size, unfortunately, also makes them an easy target for criminals.
This opportunity also gives them a high resale price, 163 stolen in the past five years, although this is still less than half the number of Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
3. French Bulldog – 149 flights
Another small breed of dog is the third most frequently flown, the French Bulldog, with 149 thefts in the past five years.
The French have grown in popularity over the past five years, but unfortunately that means flights have increased by just over double, from 20 in 2016 to 41 in 2020.
They usually cost between Â£ 1,000 and Â£ 2,000, but can be worth over Â£ 3,000, up to Â£ 10,000, so it’s easy to see why thieves are targeting them.
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How to protect yourself against dog theft
So, with dog thefts certainly appearing to be on the rise, what can you do to keep your beloved dog safe?
If you haven’t already, it’s essential to make sure your dog is microchipped, especially since it’s now required by law.
This ensures that your dog can easily be identified and turned to you if he gets lost, and it is also a good idea for him to wear a collar and an ID tag with your name and address on it.
While it’s always nice to see friendly strangers come and chat with you and say hello to your dog in the park, stay alert to people you don’t know.
Always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on your dog. Don’t leave them off leash unless you are sure they will come back to you!
Keep your garden safe
Try to keep your dog in sight when in the garden, especially in the front garden, if it is easily accessible from the street. Make sure all doors are locked and consider installing a bell so you can hear if someone opens it.
Be careful on social media
Even if you want to share photos of your dog online, it is essential to be careful. Try not to divulge information such as where you live and walk your dog, or take a look at your privacy settings.
Also be extra vigilant when strangers ask you lots of questions about your dog online.
Purchase pet insurance
Dog insurance not only protects your dog from expensive veterinary treatments, but some policies will also cover the cost of your pet being stolen or missing (sometimes referred to as “ missing pet coverage ”).
The best policies will also cover the cost of advertising if your pet is lost.