A security company is offering tips to dog owners following revelations about the rise in dog thefts during 2020. said that police forces up and down the country had reported an alarming increase in pet theft, with Suffolk topping the poll with a 250% increase from the first six months of this year when compared to the same period last year.

This was followed by Northumbria and Humberside, with 128% and 127% increases respectively.

The organisation Dog Lost, which aims to reunite owners and pets, told the BBC that this had been the worst year ever seen for theft. Wayne May said: “Unfortunately, due to lockdown, people are at home more and they’re looking for companion animals to take up their time.

“Sadly the criminals capitalised on this. It’s pushed the price of dogs and puppies up in general, which has inadvertently sparked a high rise in dog thefts.” has carried out its own survey on pet security and found that one in four Brits don’t have any security precautions around their home. It is now offering the following advice to dog owners in a bid to help keep them and their pets safe over the festive period:

• Lighting – can act as a deterrent to burglars and gives the homeowner clearer vision of any wrongdoings in the area.

• Barriers – walls, hedges and fencing will protect the garden and prevent pets from roaming. Be careful not to exceed two metres, however, or planning permission is needed.

• CCTV – if a burglar spots a camera in the garden, they are less likely to consider breaking in. There is also the advantage of monitoring any outdoor space for unusual activity.

• Locks – locking gates with padlocks will ensure a more difficult entrance for would-be burglars.

• Gravel – the crunching sound from a gravel path or driveway could give an early indication of someone approaching the property.

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