West Yorkshire tops the chart for dog thefts
West Yorkshire had the highest number of dog thefts in the country last year according to new figures.
Figures obtained by NationalWorld show how many dog thefts have been recorded by police forces across the country.
It comes as Freedom of Information (FOI) requests reveal there was a 13 per cent increase in dog thefts recorded by police in 2020.
A total of 121 dog thefts were reported to West Yorkshire Police in 2020.
This was down from 141 in 2019 and 165 in 2018.
It represents an average of two and a third each week for 2020 or just over 10 per month.
But only 28 out of the 45 territorial police forces in the UK, excluding British Transport Police, responded to the request or could provide comparable data, so gaps in the picture remain.
That includes the whole of Scotland, Manchester, Essex, London – which provided a count of dogs stolen rather than individual incidents, as other police forces had – and Liverpool.
The average number of dog thefts per million people across the forces that responded in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was 37.1.
Dog theft is not a specific offence in UK law, which makes collecting data difficult.