WORCESTER’s Conservative Parliamentary candidate Marc Bayliss has publicly backed Tory backbench MP Anna Firth MP’s private members bill to bring in a specific new offence for the theft of pet cats and dogs.
Mr Bayliss, who also serves as Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia, revealed he had recently met a resident who believes their pet dog had been stolen.
The former leader of Worcester City Council said he had seen for himself the devastation this crime can cause.
He said: “Until now the theft of pet cats and dog has not been a specific crime and instead has been dealt with under the 1968 Theft Act.
“But this really doesn’t recognise the especially harmful impact that the theft of a valued family member has on the owner and the whole family.
“It can be devastating for anyone but especially when children are involved.”
“I fully support the work of Anna Firth to make the theft of pet cats and dogs a specific offence and for it to carry heavier penalties and sentences than the theft of other property.
“You can replace a phone or even a car but not a loved pet.”
“During the pandemic the price of cats and dogs rose significantly and I believe this has led to increased interest amongst criminals who see it as a get rich quick scheme.
“We need to do more to discourage this and the proposed new maximum sentence of five years in prison would go some way to do that.”
“As a dog owner myself I can’t imagine what it would be like to have one of them stolen.”