Neighbourhood Watch has launched their protect your pooch campaign in response to the increased fear of pet theft.

The campaign encourages people to keep their pets secure, in sight and searchable, and to help make pet theft a specific criminal offence.

Crimestoppers and Met Police have also backed the campaign’s message.

Nottinghamshire Police were the first force to dedicate a officer to tackling dog theft.

The campaign will run on social media from 17th – 30th May or attending their online Dog Theft webinar on the 27th May at 5pm.

The webinar will be led by Neighbourhood Watch Network with speakers from the Met Police and Crimestoppers and Katy Bourne, PCC for Sussex.

Those who do not use social media can support the campaign by displaying the campaigns posters.

A survey by the force of 18,000 dog owners found that 13,000 said they were now more fearful of walking their pets in the day.

It is estimated dog thefts have risen by 250% nationwide following increased demand during the pandemic.

More information on the campaign can be found on  www.ourwatch.org.uk/protectyourpooch.