How to Take a Taxi Safely

No matter if you are male or female, young or old, it’s important you keep yourself safe when getting a taxi. Getting a taxi is generally considered safer than walking home alone, or getting public transport, however there are still risks. We will go through how to get a taxi safely and how to make a complaint about a taxi driver if needed.

Where possible…pre book 

 Pre booking a taxi, or using a private hire car is the safest way to use taxi services. This is because there will be an official log of your journey and pre booked taxis are often tracked.  

There are two different types of vehicles, a Private Hire car and a Taxi. 

Private Hire- A car that must be booked through a licensed operator   

Taxi– A car that can be hired immediately from a taxi rank or hailed down on the street 

 

Make sure your taxi, or private hire is legal

Using an illegal taxi is one of the most dangerous things you can do. These cars are unlicensed, which means they have not been subject to the rigours checks that are needed to gain a licence. The drivers also haven’t had any vetting, such as a DBS or medical check. An illegal taxi is classed as a vehicle with no taxi licence that charges over 45p per mile. There is a trend for people to advertise their lift services on Facebook, this is also illegal and unsafe.

 

How to make sure a taxi is licensed  

 

  1. A licensed vehicle will normally display a licence plate on the front or rear of the vehicle. The plate will include the licensing authority, licence number & the vehicle registration number 
  2. A licensed driver will wear or have on display an identity badge. The badge will include the licensing authority and driver licence number. 
  3. If you can’t see either ASK. 

 

Quick safety tips

  • Make sure that you’ve got enough money aside for your journey home.
  • Make sure it’s the taxi you booked – before getting into a car that appears to be yours ask the driver the name and destination he has been given to confirm that he is your driver.
  • If a car stops without you flagging it down and claims to be a taxi – DON’T GET IN– taxi drivers are only supposed to stop when hailed.
  • Always sit in the back, directly behind the driver if possible, don’t sit in the front next to the driver – don’t worry about appearing unfriendly
  • If chatting to the driver, keep to general topics and don’t give them any personal information about yourself.

 

How to make a complaint About a Taxi

You can take all the safety precautions you like, but there can be some things out of your control. If you are a victim of a crime while a passenger of a taxi then you must call the police. However, if you feel that something happened in the taxi that you are unhappy with that might not be a crime; you are still well within your rights to complain.

There are two options for you when it comes to complaining. If you are using a private hire car then most complaints can be taken up with the operator, it’s required that a licensed operator has a complaints policy and this should be followed. Your complaints can be escalated to the council if you are not satisfied with the result. If you are using a taxi that you have flagged down and they don’t have an operator then all complaints will need to be made directly to the council.

We spoke to a licensing officer within a local authority and they gave us the following guidelines;

Things that warrant a complaint to the council:

  • A driving concern – if the driver was acting or driving erratically or in a way that you feel is unsafe, it’s important to raise this with the local authority.
  • Lewd behaviour – if you feel the taxi driver acted in an inappropriate manor, such as talking in a sexual way or making suggestive comments. This would be an urgent incident to bring up with a licensing officer.
  • Mechanical concerns – if you feel the car is in a state of disrepair or has a major fault, then this could pose a danger to other road users and passengers.
  • Overcharged (metered taxi) – if the taxi you take has a meter installed and you were overcharged then you are within your rights to report this.
  • Not satisfied with the response from operator – if you have raised your concern with an operator and you feel it has not been investigated fully or you have not been taken seriously, then you can escalate it to the council.

 

Things that warrant a complaint to the operator;

  • Running late – if the taxi you booked was late, then you can inform the operator. This might be annoying, but doesn’t warrant a call to the council.
  • Not helping with luggage – another issue that doesn’t go against licensing policy and can be taken up with the operator.
  • Untidy taxi- if you feel the car you had was particularly untidy or smelled bad, it’s worth mentioning to the operator.
  • Being over charged (non-metered taxi) – if you have agreed a price in advanced that isn’t stuck to, this needs to be discussed with the operator.

 

While in the taxi if you want to make a complaint then you should; make a note of the drivers badge number, make a note of the vehicle plate number, note the time, date and location. This will help the licensing officer to identify the operator and driver, so they can be investigated.

Duty of Care

It is a taxi drivers right to ask you to leave their vehicle for any reason. However, they do have a duty of care to not leave you unsafe. They are required to direct you to another form of transport or a safe place to shelter. If you feel that you were left in an unsafe situation by a driver then you can complain to the operator or local authority. It’s important to note that a taxi driver cannot refuse your custom on the basis of journey length.

 

Overall, getting a taxi is a safe way to get around. But it’s important to know how to keep yourself safe when using them. For more information on how to keep yourself safe when walking alone then read our blog Staying Safe While Walking Alone.

 

 

Covid-19 Scams

Scams have always been the most common type of crime in the UK and in this time of fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, scams have increased 400% (according to the City of London Police). Action Fraud has reported that there have been 105 reports of covid 19 scams with a total loss of nearly £970,000.

You need to stay alert and aware that scammers are using the covid-19 pandemic to their advantage. They will use fraudulent emails, phone calls, text messages, whatsapp messages and social media to try and scam you. Things to keep an eye out for are any of these that contain information on;

  1. Vaccines or cures
  2. Testing kits
  3. Overpriced goods
  4. People asking for charity donations
  5. Bogus emails claiming to be from the government

 

Coronavirus email and text phishing scams

Phishing emails and smishing text messages are used to con someone into giving out login details. One scam involves criminals claiming to be from the World Health Organisation, they encourage you to click the link, promising information on how to stay safe. It will then encourage you to enter your email and password and boom, they’ve got your details. The fake website might look legitimate, but you should NEVER enter your email and password to a link that has been sent to you out of the blue. There are a few similar scams floating around that claim to be from different health organisations that want to trick you into giving out confidential information.

You also need to look out for the following covid-19 related scams;

Fake lockdown fines– the rules of lockdown may not be clear to everyone, so you might be at risk for falling for this one. The scam involves you receiving a text message from the ‘government’ saying your movements have been tracked via your phone and you have now received a fine. The message will include a threat of more severe penalties if you don’t pay.

 

HMRC Goodwill Payment– the MET police has put a warning out about this particular scam. This scam is trying to steal your bank details; you will receive a message that says something along the lines of ‘As part of the NHS promise to battle the COV-19 virus, HMRC has issued a payment of £258 as a goodwill payment’. This is fake.

 

Fake council tax reductions- this one is clever because it uses government branding to try to convince you it’s legit. The email will offer you a coronavirus related council tax rebate, for which you will have to submit your banking details. Again, never give out your bank details to an untrusted source.

 

Free School Meals– there has been a lot in the press about free school meals when the schools were closed. This scam is, again, trying to steal your bank details. You will receive an email telling you that you are entailed to free school meals and they will encourage you to hand over your details so they can ‘support you’.

 

The Vaccine Scam- the email will try and convince you to give up your bank details by using NHS colours and signage. The email will ask you to click on a link to accept or decline your invitation for you covid 19 vaccine. If you click to accept, then it will then ask for your personal details and bank information.

 

A quote from the Action Fraud website;

“You will never get an email, text message or phone call from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) which:

– tells you about a tax rebate or penalty

– asks for your personal or payment information

You can report suspicious HMRC emails by forwarding them to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk. You can report suspicious HMRC text messages by forwarding the message to 60599 – you’ll be charged at your standard network rate.”

 

 

Coronavirus scams – how to spot them and stop them

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/warning-criminals-continue-to-take-advantage-of-coronavirus-vaccine-roll-out-as-phishing-email-reports-soar

 

 

Staying Safe Whilst Walking Alone

We here at Keytek® are in firm support of ensuring that everyone has the right to walk home safely. We want to express that the below tips and products are not the solution to the difficult situation we find ourselves in now, but rather suggestions on how you can try to keep yourself save in these uncertain times.

 

The realities of walking alone, especially at night, can be daunting. This leaves many feelings unsafe and anxious whilst exercising, commuting, or travelling. In our society, the idea of “text me when you get home” is a constant reminder that we need to be vigilant when travelling alone and need to be cautious to keep safe, no matter our age or gender. We have done a bit of research and have compiled a few things you can do to try and keep yourself safe and the most important apps to have on hand.

 

Tips to Stay Safe When Walking Home Alone

We would never recommend that anyone walks home alone, we would always suggest trying to walk home with a friend or in a group, however if you do end up walking home alone there are a few tips you could consider. These tips not only are suggested to make your journey safer but also help to reduce the anxiety you might be feeling.

 

1.      Think About Your Footwear

The first tip you might hear is that you should always wear appropriate footwear when walking, and unfortunately it is true. Although a nice pair of shoes might match your outfit perfectly, if there is a chance that you might have to walk home, we would always suggest wearing comfortable shoes.

This doesn’t mean that you need to carry around a pair of running trainers, but rather consider a pair of comfortable flat shoes or a pair of worn in comfortable shoes.

2.      Plan Your Way Home

If you find yourself walking home on your own, no matter what time of day it is, make sure you know where you are going and that you stick to as many main roads as possible. Walking through an alley might save you a few minutes but it’s not worth the extra risk that comes with it. Not only will knowing your way home make you feel safer, but it will also help you to feel more confident whilst walking.

3.      Phone a Friend

If you feel nervous or anxious, phone a friend. This can be a partner, friend or relative, but give them a call and stay on the phone with them until you reach your destination. This will allow you to feel more relaxed as you focus on getting to your destination and will help to make you less of a target for crime. Be cautious however to remain aware of your surroundings so that you aren’t distracted from traffic or others.

4.      Keep Your Keys in Your Hands

This might seem overzealous, but it means that when you reach your destination you can enter quickly, without having to fumble around in your bag or become distracted at the door.

5.      Try to Remain Calm and Confident

Easier said than done but being sure of yourself makes you a lesser target for crime. Walk calmly and steady to show that you aren’t panicked and are aware of your surroundings. Don’t be afraid to look people in the eyes or even greet them as you go past.

6.      Carry a Whistle or an Alarm

If you are nervous, or regularly walk home alone, consider carrying an alert whistle that is easily accessible to you when walking. This can help to alert others in the vicinity that you feel unsafe or threatened and need assistance.

7.      Walk in the Direction of Oncoming Traffic

Walking into traffic ensures that you are more aware of the cars passing you by and can prevent a car from coming up behind you.

8.      Avoid Carrying Multiple Bags

Try to carry as little bags as possible as carrying multiple can give the impression that you may have valuables on your person, and it can also restrict your ability to react quickly if need be.

9.      Don’t Distract Yourself with Your Phone

It can be easy to resort to looking at your phone for comfort, but we strongly advise against this as it can distract you from your surroundings. Refrain from texting or playing a game as it takes your attention away from your destination and can make you a target for crime. Listening to music through headphones may seem like a good idea but it makes it harder to be aware of your surroundings leaving you vulnerable to people approaching or road traffic.

10.  Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

If you feel unsafe, or are feeling threatened by another person, don’t be afraid to walk into a supermarket or hospitality establishment and ask for help. Surrounding yourself with people if you feel you have become a target will reduce the risk to yourself and help you to find a solution. For example, if you feel unsafe, walking into a supermarket and asking for help will always start to deescalate the situation and someone can hopefully help to find you a way home safely.

 

If you ever feel that you are not safe or are being threatened, don’t just ignore it or carrying on walking home, always look to find help and place yourself into a situation where it is harder to get to you.

 

What Should I Do If I am Being Followed?

The feeling of being followed is unnerving and unsettling and although thankfully is usually just a result of feeling uncomfortable or an overactive imagination, it is important to ensure that you take your instincts seriously and remain calm as you get to a safe location.

 

1.      Stay Calm, Steady and Confident

Controlling the fear is important as it allows you to think rationally. Your gut might tell you to run for it, but in fact this could put you in more danger. The best thing for you to do is to subtlety pick up the pace ever so slightly and see how the person following reacts. Have they sped up? Have they remained at the same pace?

Most of the time, the person we think is following isn’t, so taking the few seconds to calm down and assess the situation can make the world of difference.

2.      Change Direction

If you know the area well, an option to see if you are being followed is to slightly change direction. This could be taking the longer way around or crossing the road when safe. If the individual copies your movements, then you should seek help immediately.

3.      Go Somewhere Public

If there is no-one at home or you feel threatened, we recommend that you go to a crowded public place where you can tell someone about your fear. At night, it can be harder to find a safe place, but places such as bars and supermarkets might be a good option. Express your suspicions to a member of the security team or member of staff who may be able to help or remain at your side until the police arrive.

4.      Don’t make it Obvious

If you feel a serious threat that someone is following you, don’t make them aware of this. Panicking, running or even looking over your shoulder can give the game away which might prompt a confrontation. Whilst they believe you unaware, you have the advantage to get to a safe place without raising suspicion.

5.      Call the Police

If the situation calls for it, discreetly call the police and inform them of the threat. The trained phone operatives will help guide you through the situation whilst they get help on the way.

 

Best Personal Alarm Devices for 2021

 

TooDoo 130db SafeSound

Stylish and practical, this device can attach onto your keys, purse or bag and once activated sets off an alarm. At 1030 dB and with a range of 600 feet, the high-pitched beeping is both an effective alert and deterrent. As an added feature a built in LED is situated on top which boasts a light of 80 lumens.

To activate the alarm, the top strap needs to be pulled from the device, this will then sound the alarm, which will last for 1.5 hours uninterrupted on full batteries. To deactivate the device, the pin at the end of the wrist strap simply needs to be replaced into the slot.

 

Safesound Personal Alarm

Small, compact, and effective, this alarm is connected to a keychain that allows you to attach it easily to your bag, purse, keys or even belt loops for easy access. In an emergency you simply need to pull the pin out of the top of the device or press the SOS button twice, which will activate 130-140dB alarm to alert others around you. As an added feature there is a LED light at the end of the device to illuminate dark surroundings.

As an added benefit, you can get this device in different colours which makes it easier to match with your bag or keys so that it can be more discreet.

 

Heart Shape Personal Security Alarm

A more discreet alarm that looks more like a keychain, this device is a reflective heart shape but is also a deceiving alarm. Simply pull the pin from the top and a 130dB alarm will sound that can be heard from up to 600 feet, alerting others that you feel threatened or are in danger. The battery included has a yearlong 365-day standby time, ensuring that should you need it the alarm will sound.

 

Phone Apps to Keep you Safe

One Scream

This app is the perfect companion for those travelling alone, especially at night, to feel more confident that even if you can’t reach your phone or personal security alarm in an emergency you are still offered some protection.

How does the app work?

When running on the background of your phone, One Scream can detect a panicked scream, identify your location, and send an alert to help to your dedicated emergency contacts even if buried at the bottom of your bag.

When you are in danger and cannot reach your phone

  1. Your panicked scream triggers the app.
  2. A loud siren is activated, the phone starts vibrating, and a notification pops up.
  3. There is a 20 second period to allow you to cancel the alarm.
  4. If not aborted, an automated message is sent to your emergency contacts alongside your location.
  5. If you and your emergency contact have an android phone, a phone line is opened so that they can hear the real events.

How to set up the app

To set up the app, simply add up to 3 different contacts to be notified when you need help and activate the app to run in the background of your phone whist you are on the move. Your emergency contacts will also need to download the app from the app store to get the notifications should there be an emergency.

 

One Scream FAQs

What if I don’t have signal or a connection?

If you don’t have signal, the app will still work in terms of creating a loud siren but will not be able to notify your contacts. Not to worry however as this is still a very effective alert system for people in the surrounding area and acts as a deterrent.

Is my location monitored?

Your location is only detected when the app has activated due to detecting a scream, otherwise your location is not shared.

 

Parachute

When an emergency occurs, the Parachute app starts a visual and audio live recording whilst also sending a live location to your designated emergency contacts. Your emergency contacts can then access the live recording to understand the situation and see in real time what is going on, whilst also allowing you to see the status of the alerts and whether the alerts have been successfully received.

How to set up the app

Once downloaded from the app store, the app requires a monthly subscription, however with the vast amount of features the cost is high value for money. You then need to allocate emergency contacts with information for how to contact them.

 

Emergency SOS (ISO, Apple)

A built-in feature for Apple phones, this allows for an emergency SOS to be sent out to both your emergency contacts and the local authorities to alert that you are in need for help.

How does it work?

Once set up in the phone’s settings, you simply press the lock button on the phone 5 times to activate the emergency SOS, from there a loud siren activates from the phone and you have 5 seconds to deactivate the distress call before your emergency contacts are notified of your situation and your location and a call to emergency services are connected.

How do I set up the Emergency SOS?

The emergency SOS is already active on all iPhones but should you wish to add emergency contacts, you need to go into the settings searching for ‘emergency SOS’.

How to add emergency contacts

  1. Open the Health App and tap your profile picture.
  2. Open the Medical ID.
  3. Select Edit in the upper right-hand corner.
  4. Scroll to the emergency contact section and tap the green plus button.
  5. Create a new contact with their details and their relationship to you.
  6. Tap done to complete.

 

Royal Protection

Its well known that most of the major members of the royal family have some sort of protection 24/7. But with some controversy in the newspapers about Prince Harry’s son, Archie, not getting royal protection. We will go through who gets royal protection and what it involves.  

 

Who protects the royal family? 

 

The group that protects the royal family are a component of the Metropolitan Police Service called SO14 Royal Protection Group. S014 is in charge of guarding the Royal family, they are made up of numbers of sections, including; Personal and Close Protection, residential protection and the Special Escort Group.  

 

Personal and Close Protection-  

 

Armed Personal Protection Officers (PPO) protects certain members of the royal family, at home and abroad. PPOs are mostly no-uniformed, in order to blend in, however they are often armed with 9mm Glock 17 pistols. They are also equipped with a radio and a first aid kit. They are trained in emergency first aid, advanced driving and unarmed combat.    

 

Special Escort Group (SEG)- 

The SEG provide additional security for when the royals are out and about. This involves armed motorcyclists who drive alongside the motorcades. Motorcades are also protected by marked and unmarked vehicles that carry armed police officers.  

 

Residential Protection- 

 

There are also plain clothed S014 officers guarding the royal residencies in London, Windsor and Scotland, they also protect any members of the public that visit these places.  

 

 

 Who gets royal protection? 

 

The palace doesn’t release specific security details for safety reasons; we do however have a rough idea on who has what protection. It goes without saying the Her Majesty the Queen gets full protection from the royal protection squad, as do the immediate heirs to the throne and some other minor royals  

Major royals that have 24/7 protection; 

  1. The Queen and Prince Phillip 
  1. Prince William and Kate Middleton and children  
  1. The Queens Children- Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne  

Those who do not have 24/7 protection are the Queens other Grandchildren; Beatrice and Eugenie, Zara Phillips and her brother Peter. This is because they are considered ‘minor’ royals and are not exposed to the same threat level as ‘major’ royals. 

There has been some scandal in the press in regards to the money being spent on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s protection. While they were active members of the royal family, they received a high level of security. However, since stepping back from a major role in the royal family, they have been stripped of these privileges and now pay for their own protection officers.  

 

How do the Royals stay safe? 

 

SAS Style Training 

 

It may be a surprise for some that the royals themselves are given training on how to protect themselves. This training is given to equip the royals with the skills to look after themselves in the rare occurrence they end up alone in a dangerous situation. This SAS training would allow the royals to talk their way out of a dangerous situation as well as defend themselves physically. They are given regular refresher courses and the younger royals, such as Prince George will be given this training when they are old enough to understand it.  

 

They take different routes 

 

Any place that the royals visit regularly, Prince George going to school for example, the royal protection officers will have a number of different routes to get there. This means, no one knows on any given day, which route the young royal will be taking, slashing the chance of a planned attack happening on the drive. 

 

They can’t close car doors 

 

This might sound very random, but members of the royal family are not allowed to close their own car doors. However, there is good reasoning behind it. All cars that the royals travel in automatically lock when the door is closedThis is great when they are inside, but if they arrive at an event, close the door and an incident occurs they will be unable to get back in the car. This would pose a security risk, therefore the security officer will decide when is appropriate to close the car door, once the royal has exited the vehicle. 

 

 

 https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/245325/Princess-Anne-s-fury-overplans-to-cut-Royal-protection-police 
https://rocketgeeks.com/stories/little-known-rules-about-the-royal-familys-security-and-bodyguards/ 
https://www.eliteukforces.info/police/SO14-royalty-protection/ 
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2021/03/prince-harry-meghan-markle-security 
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/royal-family-security-rules.html/ 
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/jun/16/qanda.monarchy 

 

 

Dog Theft in the UK

In the UK, on average roughly 2000 dogs are stolen each year and sadly only 1 in 5 stolen dogs are ever reunited with their owners and even worse only 5% of reported dog thieves that are caught are actually convicted. In 2020, mostly due to the UK lockdown, more and more people have been buying dogs and this in turn has led to more dog theft. Incredibly, dog theft went up 250% in the UK last year, so it’s important you know how to keep your dog safe. We will go through all the facts concerning dog theft and all the ways you can keep your dog safe.

 

Why is dog theft happening?

The demand for puppies has gone up exponentially over lockdown, breeders cannot keep up with this demand (not ethically anyway). This then leads to gangs taking advantage of the gap in the markets and stealing dogs to order. Distressingly, lots of pedigree dogs are stolen from family homes and sold to intensive breeding farms; it seems criminals can make as much money stealing puppies as they can from stealing cars. The cost of puppies is also on the rise, with puppies costing anywhere from £2000 upwards.

Another reason for dog theft, which has been in the press recently, is ransom money. In February 2021 Lady Gaga’s French bulldogs were stolen while out for exercise with her dog walker. A ransom was not demanded from the singer, but she did offer a $500,000 reward for their safe return. This may have caused potential dog thieves to see this as a new opportunity. If they suspect the owner is wealthy, then they could target them in hopes of a large ransom pay out.

 

Most Stolen dog breeds

While it’s true that any dog breed can be a target for dog theft from an opportunistic dog thief. More organised gangs will be targeting dogs that they can get the most money for. It’s an undeniable fact that different dog breeds become more popular and ‘fashionable’ at any given time, and if there is a high demand for a certain breed, thieves are more likely to be looking for them.

It can change year on year depending on which dogs are most popular at the time, but you often see the same sort of dogs being stolen year on year.

 

French Bulldog

This breed is currently one of the most popular in the UK, so much so breeders cannot keep up with the surge in demand. They often sell for £2000 or more, so these make them one of the most at-risk breeds for stealing.

 

Chihuahua

Ever since Paris Hilton started carrying one in her purse, the Chihuahuas have been an extremely popular dog in the UK. This means they are always high on the list to be stolen, their small size makes them easier to steal than say, a Golden Retriever. Even though they are very feisty, they need to be kept safe from thieves.

 

Labradoodle

Everyone knows someone that’s got a Labradoodle, they’re one of the most popular dogs in the UK and the only non-pedigree dog to be on the most stolen list. They are incredible friendly by nature, so they are easy targets for thieves, as they are likely to be happy to walk off with anyone, especially if they have treats.

 

Staffordshire bull terrier

It might be a surprise that this dog is on the list and even more of a surprise that the staffy is often top of the list to be stolen. They are still one of the most popular dogs in the UK so are always in high demand, plus criminals can sell them to dog fighting rings.

 

For more information on the most commonly stolen dogs, click here.

 

How are dogs being stolen?

From your garden-

a census revealed that 52% of dogs are stolen from their owners back garden. Low fences make your dog an easy target, as well as if your garden is near a main road and if you leave your dog unattended in there.

 

From your car-

you should never leave your dog alone in your car. Dogs dying of heat stroke get a lot of press; however an unattended dog in a car is the perfect find for an opportunistic thief.

 

Tying your dog outside a shop-

this is the same principle as leaving your dog in the car. If someone takes a shine to your dog and sees they’ve been left unattended, then it’s a prime opportunity to swipe them.

 

In the park-

if your dog likes to run free off their lead, then this could be a risk. If your dog runs out of site, it gives someone the opportunity to take them while you can’t see.

 

Chalk marks-

it seems there is a new trend of dog thieves marking your home with chalk to let other gang members know to target your house. The thought seems to be, that they knock on your door when you are out and if they hear a dog barking, then they mark your house with chalk.

Read our blog on House Robbery Markings.

Fake RSPCA vans-

there have been recent reports of thieves driving around in a plain white van with an RSPCA sticker on the side, trying to seize dogs from people’s homes.

 

How do I stop my dog from being stolen?

 

Be wary of strangers-

having a dog and walking them is a great way to meet people and get out of the house. It’s more than likely that you will get talking to other dog owners and get complements on your dog. However, don’t give out too much personal information, if someone is asking too many questions then remove yourself from the situation. They could be trying to find out if your dog is a good option to steal. This is especially true if the person who approached you doesn’t have a dog.

 

Change up your walking route-

we are all creatures of habit and once you find a lovely route to walk your dog, it’s easy to go the same way every day. However, potential dog thieves may notice this and use it to their advantage to plan a potential theft.

 

Get your dog microchipped-

as of 2016 it’s the law that every dog over 8 weeks needs to be microchipped. This won’t prevent your dog being stolen, but will help your dog be identified if stolen and then recovered.

 

Consider getting a GPS tracker-

these wearable devices mean you can see where your dog is in real time. They are removable, so they could be removed by the thief. If your dog has been stolen and you can see their location, we do not recommend confronting the thief. It’s a criminal matter, so you will need to phone the police.

Be careful on social media-

yes, everyone wants to show off their new cute puppy to their friends on Facebook. But if you have an open account then, anyone can see that you’ve recently got a puppy, this could make you a target for theft, especially if your new puppy was expensive or is a desirable breed.

 

What to do if I your dog has been stolen

  1. If you believe your dog has been stolen, report it to the police and ask for a crime number.
  2. Post on social media to raise awareness of your missing dog, if someone in the local area has spotted your dog then they can let you know.
  3. Do not confront anyone online or in person that you suspect of stealing your dog.

 

 

https://www.countryliving.com/uk/wildlife/pets/a35079962/uk-dog-theft-lockdown/
https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/protect-your-dog-against-theft
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/feb/26/beware-social-media-warning-uk-dog-owners-thefts-rise
https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/news-events/news/dog%20theft%20briefing%20june%202018.pdf
https://www.pets4homes.co.uk/pet-advice/the-ten-most-commonly-stolen-dog-breeds.html#
https://www.directline.com/pet-cover/magazine/dog-theft