Many constituents have been in contact with me recently concerned with the significant rise in pet theft over the last year. I am delighted to hear that on Saturday the Government launched the Pet Theft Taskforce to investigate the rise in pet theft since the beginning of lockdown.

The taskforce will be chaired by the Lord Chancellor and be made up of officials from three government departments with the aim of understanding what is contributing to the rise in pet thefts and introduce measures to counter it.

Pets are crucial to many people and pet owners across Southampton should not have to worry about their pets being stolen while out on a walk or in the garden at home. Stealing pets is an awful crime and can have a profound effect on individuals and families. I look forward to viewing the recommendations and findings from the pet theft taskforce and I hope that this can help bring an end to this problem.