The Minister of the Interior has pledged to investigate measures to combat “absolutely shocking” pet thefts and to “prosecute” the thieves who benefit from the crime.
Priti Patel stopped speaking on LBC radio about stricter new laws, but said she was looking at what action could be taken regarding crime.
It comes after former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith called for stricter penalties for pet theft after reports of a surge in crime.
Ms. Patel said: “This is absolutely shocking, it is a shocking crime that is taking place”, adding that in London she understood “that it is very common right now”.
She said, “I’m looking at this, I’m absolutely looking at what we can do.”
She said she was working with Sir Iain and speaking to the police because “we really need to understand what’s going on here”.
Ms. Patel added: “This is a very serious problem … it is absolutely terrible to be honest.
“I can now give this assurance to your audience. We are definitely looking into what kind of action can be taken regarding crime because obviously this is the piece that is up to me, not condemning what we can do in laws to absolutely prosecute these individuals who steal pets and earns money with it. “
But she stopped suggesting that new laws might be on the way when asked, and instead said, “I’m not going to say a new law is on the way, I won’t promise anything that won’t be delivered but I’m looking at this right now. “