Below is a message from Norfolk Constabulary through the Police Connect scheme, passed on through our Parish Council to us:

We are aware of concerns and rumours circulating on social media about dogs being stolen or men in a van, including a van allegedly marked with the RSPC logo, acting suspiciously around people out walking with their dogs.

Please know there haven’t been any crimes recorded this week that relate to dog thefts

nor have we received any reports of dogs being stolen from a property or while out walking with their owners over the last week.

One person in North Walsham reported an incident on Saturday in which a man in a transit van asked questions about their dog while out walking. We asked them to report any further sightings to us and we haven’t received any further reports of this happening.

In addition, the RSPCA has told us that a number of incidents circulating on social media claiming people are impersonating their inspectors do not appear to have been actual cases of people trying to pass as bogus officials.

It’s important to know there are very few incidents whereby an RSPCA officer will approach someone in public, unless they witness animal cruelty or see an animal in immediate danger. Officers will also wear RSPCA brand clothing and always carry RSPCA identification. RSPCA officers do not have power of entry or seizure unless accompanied by a police officer.

If you’re approached by someone who makes you feel concerned about you or your dog’s safety or believe someone is posing as an RSPCA officer, tell us on 101.

Try to give us as much detail about the person or the vehicle they were in as you can. And do not hesitate to call us on 999 if a crime is happening and you need our help.