The Holiday Season is Nigh! Beware the Burglars
There have been a number of burglaries reported of late in Flackwell Heath, which highlights the need to ensure that your property is secure: not just in terms of buildings, outbuildings and vehicles, but also with regard to the identification of your valuables. It is a known fact that only a very small proportion of stolen goods recovered by the police are ever reunited with the rightful owner. This is because it is often impossible to identify the owner, and the goods end up in police auctions.
There are several ways in which you can make your valuable property traceable back to you. Probably the most widely used is the UV Pen, which is a very basic form of property marking, allowing the police to reveal your Post Code and House Number by illuminating the item with ultra-violet light. However, this type of marking does have its limitations depending upon the material being marked and how much the markings are exposed to daily sunlight, which gradually reduces the durability of the marking. A more sophisticated method uses liquids with a unique chemical composition and containing numerous ‘microdots’, which can be referred to a database and linked back to you. This is often called DNA marking and is available from various suppliers – SmartWater, SelectaDNA and CrimeStoppers to name but three.
For heavy duty items like bicycles, lawn mowers, power tools, etc. a marking and protective lacquer system from CRE-mark is available. This is a visible marking system – a deterrent in itself – which is virtually impossible to remove without serious damage to the item. This makes selling of such damaged items less attractive. For bicycles in particular, Bike Register offers a durable label marking system, linked to a database accessible to the police.
Finally, the ‘Immobilise’ UK National Property Register allows you to register all your items of value on a national database which is also accessible to the police and lets them trace recovered stolen goods back to the rightful owner. There is also a database called CheckMEND which allows the second-hand trade and the public to see - for a small fee - whether items offered for sale, especially mobile phones and other electronic devices, have a known history
For further information on these topics or about Neighbourhood Watch, contact:
David Gresswell – Area Co-ordinator, Flackwell Heath
(Tel: 525019 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Police General & Non-emergency number: 101
Community Safety Team (Anti-social behaviour): 01494 421 087 (email@example.com)
Crimestoppers (Anonymous): 0800 555 111
Trading Standards (Consumer Direct): 0345 4 04 05 06 (NEW Prefix)
Cyberaware – http://cyberaware.gov.uk
ACTION FRAUD: 0300 123 2040 (http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/)
The Information Commissioner’s Office: 0303 123 1113