Villagers have started a dog watch scheme to tackle the increasing fears around pet theft.
Charity DogLost has reported a 170 per cent increase in thefts during 2020 with 465 incidents reported compared to 172 the year before.
Now villagers living in Haslington have started a scheme to offer a refuge for anyone who feels concerned or scared while they are out walking the streets of Cheshire.
Signs places on houses state: “If you feel unsafe while out with your dog.
“If you’re approached by strangers about your dog.
“Don’t hesitate to knock on the nearest door, for refuge.”
While police officers say the number of thefts in the area are ‘few’ they have said they regularly patrol the area looking for anything noteworthy.
They have also said they will work with the local villagers taking part in the dog watch scheme.
A Cheshire Police spokesman said: “We’ve been contacted by many residents fearful about recent dog incidents. We’d like to reassure you that incidents are few, and that our patrols in the local area are very frequent.
“For your reassurance however our local…