Disclosure Details

Theft of pets - 391/14

Dated: 03 Sep 2013

Date of request:    08/05/2014

Date of response:  28/05/2014

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated  8 May 2014  in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I’m looking into the amount of thefts of pets in your force area over the last 10 years.
Could you please provide a summary of how many pets were reported stolen for each year from 2004 up to 2014 (so far).  Could you provide a breakdown of which local authority area they were taken from and what kind of animal it was?

Our main interest is dogs and cats, however, we are interested to see if there’s a trend in other animal thefts

Here’s the list of other animals I was thinking of  - horse, pony, donkey, rabbit, fish,  guinea pig, hamster, mouse, gerbil,  rat, ferret, tortoise, turtle, bird (might have to defined as canary, parrot, cockatiel etc ?), monkey, micro pig, chinchilla, meerkat, llama, alpaca, chipmunk, spider, reptiles (might have to defined as snake, lizard, iguana, chameleon, bearded dragon etc?)
In addition to this could you provide a similar breakdown of the above, but for attempted thefts?

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Strategy and Perfomance Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I have today decided to disclose the located information to you as follows.

Searches were conducted using the force crime recording system to find any crimes where the list of animals provided have been reported stolen.
Each crime was then viewed to establish the number of animals stolen and where possible if it was a pet.  Excluded are those crimes where the victim is unsure of the number of animals that have been stolen , also any crime where it looks like a  business ie, a large number of pheasants stolen from farm, animal shelter or pet shop.

With the above in mind please see the below attached which answers your query.

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103
FOI 391-14_tcm4-95765