We’ve been made aware of concerns surrounding alleged dog thefts in the area. The concerns are being shared via social media and is causing distress to dog owners and other innocent parties.
We’ve taken a look at the matter and spoken with North Wales Police to see whether or not there’s any need for any concerns in Wrexham and they advise that, whilst there’s been a small number of thefts nationally, such crimes are extremely rare here with none reported in a very long time.
The reports that are being seen are shared from various sites around the UK which then get picked up locally and becoming more and more alarmist. Many of the posts are actually from the south of England where a few confirmed offences have occurred.
At the moment those shared locally are often members of the public who have been photographed going about their daily lives but seem to others to be acting suspiciously.
The sharing of images is not to be encouraged as it has the potential to put innocent parties at risk.
Sadly due to the amount of momentum that this issue has gained we are now seeing practical jokes taking place with people deliberately marking walls with chalk, or placing zip ties to cause upset.
We’re all asking for a “sensible conversation” to take place to prevent causing upset and alarm for pet owners.
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for the Environment and Transport, said: “Whilst we all care for our pets and don’t want to see anything happen to them we should also be aware that by sharing photographs locally we’re causing distress to innocent people who are going about their legitimate business. Please think carefully before you share any photos such as these and be reassured that these crimes, whilst not unheard of, are rare in Wrexham.”
Acting Inspector Luke Hughes, North Wales Police, said:
“Social media is a great tool to for getting information into the community, however please be aware that whilst many posts are well intentioned some of what you will read is simply misinformation or “fake news” as the popular saying goes.
North Wales Police take all reported crimes seriously, and offences such as these are clearly emotive. I can however reassure you that Wrexham remains unaffected by this phenomenon and both West Mercia and Cheshire Police are reporting far fewer offences than social media may make you believe.”