Tomorrow I will be leading discussing looking Pet Theft Reform. In total 117,453 people have signed a House of Commons petition calling for the Animal Welfare Act to be reformed to make pet theft a specific offence. Originally this was going to be a full Parliamentary debate but as a result of COVID-19 I will be leading a discussion with the creators of the petition instead, Dr Daniel Allen and Professor John Cooper QC and others. I have to say as a dog and cat lover this has really taken my interest and I think there is a strong case for giving this serious consideration. As it stands when someone is found guilty of a theft “monetary value” is the main determiner of the sentence that is issued.
What this would look to do is ensure that when Courts sentence they must consider the fear, alarm or distress to the pet and the owners. There is no way you could have put a monetary value on my old Springer Spaniel Lucy. I do think its right that we need tougher sentencing when it comes to those who engage in pet theft. The discussion will not be streamed live unfortunately but I will post the video afterwards.
I am glad that Government officials have been in contact with Australian officials to discuss how their “Operation Sovereign Borders” strategy worked which allowed them to successfully tackle illegal immigration. I know how important this issue is to many of my constituents and rest assured I am doing what I can both behind the scenes and in the House of Commons Chamber to ensure firm action is taken to halt the flow of illegal crossings we have witnessed recently. Essentially the Australian approach involved them adopting a zero tolerance to tackling “illegal maritime arrivals”. Law changes were introduced that enabled Australian authorities to intercept those attempting illegal crossings and to return them to their “Port of origin”. It does seem that we will also have to see some law changes here to allow firmer action to be taken. Ultimately it would be good if we had the powers necessary so we didn’t have to be so reliant on the French authorities to prevent the flow of illegal crossings across the English channel.
I know this is an issue that the Home Secretary Priti Patel is getting on top of but I agree that we need to see positive results as soon as possible. I will continue to make inquiries and will provide updates.
Good news announced by the Chancellor at today’s press conference. I know this has been on the minds and a cause of anxiety for many of my constituents who are self-employed. I appreciate that sadly the various packages of support announced by Government don’t cover everyone but I am confident that today’s news will be a great source of help for many. Clearly at some point soon these support schemes will need to be phased out as we all get back to work but I think extending the scheme today was a sensible decision
Really positive visit to the Port of Ipswich this afternoon. Thanks to the amazing efforts of everyone who works at the Port they have actually had a rather busy couple of months. Massive amounts of timber has arrived at the Port due to significant demand and fertiliser has also been arriving in time for the Suffolk harvest. Over the past couple of months around 90 per cent of the key workers at the Port have still been coming into work to keep Britain trading, however clearly they have been working in a different kind of way as a result of the virus.
A significant number of my constituents work at Ports, whether at Felixstowe or Ipswich and I think they all deserve a massive metaphorical pat on the back for the work they have been carrying out over the past couple of months making sure that then when the time comes our local economy and agricultural sector can make positive strides.