'Revealed: surge in dog thefts amid pandemic' - NationalWorld digital front page

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The rise in puppy thefts and dognappings during the coronavirus pandemic leads our front page tomorrow.

An exclusive investigation, based on Freedom of Information (FOI) requests sent to all 46 police forces in the UK, has found that more than 1,200 dog thefts were recorded in 2020 by the 29 forces that responded.

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This amounts to an average of 23 thefts per week - almost three more per week than in 2019.

The digital front page of NationalWorld for 28 AprilThe digital front page of NationalWorld for 28 April
The digital front page of NationalWorld for 28 April

With several large police forces failing to respond or not providing comparable figures – including London’s Metropolitan Police, Merseyside and Essex – the true number of dog thefts is likely to be far greater.

‘The forgotten soldiers’

We also give a voice to the families of Sikh heroes who fought in the Second World War, who tell of their struggle to keep their stories alive.

Tens of thousands of predominantly black and Asian service personnel who died fighting for the British Empire were not properly commemorated due to “pervasive racism”, an investigation recently found.

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A 13 per cent rise in dog theft crimes during 2020 leads our front pageA 13 per cent rise in dog theft crimes during 2020 leads our front page
A 13 per cent rise in dog theft crimes during 2020 leads our front page

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) apologised after its investigation found that those individuals were not formally remembered in the same way as their white comrades.

Jas Daine and Boota Singh were among the lucky ones whose grandparents survived the Second World War, but they want to know more about how the Sikh regiment played a part in wartime history.

Football boycott of social media

We also explain why we are joining the football boycott of social media, which will see clubs, players and leagues join together this weekend in protest at the rise in abuse on the platforms.

The rise in abuse – racist, sexist, downright spiteful – towards players in particular has meant that football has finally said ‘enough is enough’.

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There have been solitary boycotts from the likes of Thierry Henry, Rangers and Swansea City, but now in an extraordinary example of unity, all clubs, leagues and players have decided to have a blackout on all social media channels in protest.

At NationalWorld, we called on football to unite and boycott Facebook, Twitter et al three weeks ago, so we welcome the move.

It is a powerful statement and while it may not result in any immediate action from the Big Tech, it keeps the pressure on them to update their policies.

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