Martin Surl

Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner 2012 -21
Standing for re-election with the Liberal Democrats on the 2nd May 2024

Published and Promoted by Fergus Ustianowski on behalf of Martin Surl, at Liberal Democrat, 16 Hewlett Road, Cheltenham GL52 6AA

Pet rescue latest vindication of my ‘compassionate’ approach


Gloucestershire Police, RSPCA and council officers today seized more than a dozen dogs on a site near Gloucester.

A mixture of breeds were seized by police.

A number of other dogs were taken into the protection of RSPCA and Stroud District Council dog wardens.


The raid took place this morning.

One man has been arrested and taken into custody for questioning.

It is not yet known whether some of the dogs were strays or waiting to sold.

Big business

One website was offering Shih Tzus for sale for £1,300 today.\"\"

Inquiries are now underway to establish the animals’ rightful owners.

 It is the latest in a number of successful ‘pet rescues’ since Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl added ‘A Compassionate Approach’ to his Police and Crime Plan priorities last September, which made tackling pet theft a priority. 

Dog thefts

The increase in pet theft has become one of the most distasteful elements of lockdown, which is why I made tackling it a priority when I updated my police and crime plan last year.

 As a dog owner, I know how much our pets mean to us.\"\"

They are the focus of many families. Losing your pet at any time is heart-breaking but to lose your pet in such a callous manner without knowing what’s happened to it must be unbearable.

 The Chief Constable agrees with our ‘Compassionate Approach’ and I congratulate the Constabulary on this latest success

Latest intelligence shows that demand for dogs has increased during the pandemic, pushing up the cost of some puppies from £500 to £2,000. As a result, it is estimated thefts have risen by 250%, with criminal gangs involved.

Stiffer penalties

It is reported that the Home Secretary Priti Patel is now considering upgrading pet theft to a more serious crime with much stiffer penalties. 

The maximum sentence is currently seven years in prison.

And tougher sentences for this type of crime is something I would support.


  • Gloucestershire Police and RSPCA Offices today recovered more than a dozen animals from a site just outside Gloucester
  • One man was arrested and inquiries are underway to discover who most of the dogs belong too and whether any were due to be sold on the open market.
  • It is the latest in a number of successful operations since Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl made tackling pet theft in Gloucestershire a policing priority
  • Home Secretary Priti Patel is also now said to be considering upgrading pet theft to a more serious offence   





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