Norfolk and Suffolk animal cruelty prosecution figures

The number of people convicted of cruelty and neglect to animals has risen by nearly a quarter, the RSPCA has revealed.

Last year 1,341 people nationally were convicted of the offences – a rise of 23.48pc compared to 2010's figure of 1,086.

The rise in convictions is said to be stretching RSPCA resources to 'breaking point' as it spent an extra �300,000 on taking people to court compared with 2010.

In the east of England 232 people were found guilty of, or pleaded guilty to, animal cruelty or neglect – an increase of 79 compared to the previous year.

The RSPCA figures show that in Norfolk 22 people were convicted; 10 were convicted in Suffolk; and 19 in Cambridgeshire.

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Across the east of England 15 prison sentences were handed out and 172 bans were issued on people keeping animals following their convictions.

Included in the statistics for last year was Lowestoft man Vincent McCormick, who pleaded guilty to kicking his pet rottweiler in the street and was banned from keeping dogs for six years and given a six month community order.

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In total there were 353 convictions relating to cruelty to dogs and 499 people in the east reported to the RSPCA prosecutions department – an increase of 48 compared to 2010.

Gavin Grant, RSPCA chief executive, said: 'The RSPCA faces a crisis that is stretching us to breaking point.

'We show zero tolerance to animal abusers. Anyone causing animals pain for profit or pleasure will be tracked down and prosecuted.

'We need the courts and councils, police and people who care to join us in standing up and getting justice for Britain's abused animals.'

Nationally there were 2,105 convictions of cruelty to dogs in 2011, a rise of 22pc, and 74 people were jailed for animal cruelty offences.

There were 1,314,795 calls made to the RSPCA last year, an increase of 13pc, and a total of 3,036 people reported to the RSPCA's prosecution department – a rise of 9.3pc compared to 2010.

The number of equine cruelty convictions was 230.

Last year the RSPCA had prosecution costs of �4.6m and was awarded �1.1m in costs from convicted people.

The RSPCA has released the national and east of England figures ahead of its major fund-raising push, RSPCA Week 2012, which starts on April 30 and has raised more than �320,000 since it was launched in 1995.

To support the RSPCA call 0300 123 8000 or visit

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