Dr Helen Selby-Fell and Dr Daniel Allen (Keele University) began working together in late 2020 and have formulated plans for collaborative research to explore various facets of dog theft.
Despite the wide media reporting of the problem, the full extent and nature of dog theft is not yet clear, and there is limited research exploring it. The researchers are currently examining the extent and nature of dog theft in the UK, triangulating police crime data with various other sources. In addition, they are in the process of analysing qualitative data (interviews with victims of dog theft) to explore ‘victim impact’. The research will then be extended to explore prevention opportunities and to better understand the profile and behaviours of offenders (for example possible links to organised crime). The team will be formalising their plans for further research over the next few months. The researchers are keen to design and conduct the research in collaboration with UK police forces, animal charities, and other related organisations with relevant expertise or interest. Ultimately, it is envisaged that the research will help to build the evidence base and inform the development of the policing (and wider) response to dog theft in the UK.
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