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Dog centre steps up security
12:00pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013 in News
DOG thieves pose such a threat that Howard Kirby of Mullenscote Dog Training Centre needs to boost security at Lains Shooting School in Quarley by having a permanent human presence on the site.
He says he “currently lives in fear” and he needs to improve security to thwart determined dognappers who were successful in stealing four valuable dogs in 2009.
Since then security has been stepped up, but the 12 dogs on the site, each worth around £5,000, are recognised as ‘prime targets’ for thieves say dog experts, partly because of their owner’s high profile.
Mr Kirby writes a regular column for national shooting magazine Sporting Shooter and the dogs travel the country with the Living Heritage Game Fairs.
Since the thefts in 2009, trespassing on the land has increased.
Now Mr Kirby has asked Test Valley Borough Council for permission for a mobile home at the site for a key worker to improve security.
In his application, Mr Kirby revealed there had been another attempt to get at his dogs in the autumn.
He said: “We had an attempted break-in at the club house.
“Thieves came across agricultural land and approached the property from the north A303 site through a field gate and tripped the alarm at 8.45pm.
“Fortunately I was on site and went straight to the clubhouse and phoned the police at 8.54pm.
“While they were helpful and sent two cars, they did not arrive on site until approximately 9.15pm.
“Had I not been here, there is every chance that this would have been the serious break-in that we currently live in fear of.”
A police crime prevention advisor with Hampshire Constabulary who inspected the site last spring concluded that a regular human presence at Lains would “assist greatly in reducing its vulnerability”.
Planners have recommended approval of the application.