Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones speaks to Holbeach councillor Tracey Carter on dog theft, speeding and fly-tipping
Dog theft, speeding and fly-tipping were among the topics put to Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones in a question and answer session via Zoom.
South Holland District Councillor for Holbeach, Tracey Carter, arranged the live meeting via the video conferencing platform on Thursday to put residents’ questions to the commissioner - and alleviate some fears circulating on social media, particularly over dog theft.
The role of the commissioner is to be the public’s representative to policing, to listen to concerns and feed them back to the police. It is an elected role.
On the topic of dog theft, Coun Carter said: “I’m fearful that, actually, social media has been making this a little bit bigger than it potentially is right now.
“I’m seeing reports from people saying a van has been parked there for three minutes and the poor guy was probably having a sandwich.
“I know the fear is very real for people. I know people are not wanting to take their dogs out sometimes but actually the statistics would be useful to know.”
Mr Jones explained that, at the moment, as there is not a specific named crime of ‘dog theft’ getting data is ‘much more difficult’, as it comes under the general term of theft.
He explained that the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners saw all 43 commissioners put together a national survey around dog theft.
“We had 125,000 responses in three weeks,” Mr Jones said. “Out of those, 417 said that they’d had dogs stolen in the last 12 months.
“When the question (was asked) of ‘do you personally know somebody who has had their dog stolen in the last 12 months’ that was 28,000. Now those two figures can’t be right.
“What we have found is the fear of crime has been disproportionately made worse by a lot of the social media reports...”
“Now, let’s be clear, dog theft happens and it’s serious and if you lose a family member, as a lot of people would see their dog... these things are absolutely devastating when they happen but the volume of it is tiny by comparison to the fear of it.”
Mr Jones has asked for data around South Holland and dog theft. He said the results from police showed no record of a single one in the last 12 months but he explained that could be due to the way dog thefts or attempted thefts are recorded.
“I have asked them to do another search just to be sure.”
“The good news is people have their eyes peeled for suspicious activity.”
On the subject of speeding Mr Jones explained how the work of the Community Speedwatch team and Safer Together team, made of special constables to help Speedwatch with enforcements, was making a huge difference, alongside other initiatives.
“Since 2007 the amount of deaths on Lincolnshire’s roads has pretty much gone down by 50% but we’re starting to see it creep back up and we need to do more around that.”
New measures include the Young Driver Initiative with the Institute of Advanced Motorists. On the back of the council tax rise this year one project, he explained, is to create a bespoke new roads crime policing unit.
l You can watch the full recorded interview on the Holbeach Local Facebook page for more on all the topics discussed.