Immobilise helps police reunite 250 items of recovered property with their owners

Property Marking EventPolice in Avon and Somerset yesterday (Thursday December 17) held their latest “Relentless” day, focussing on the prevention of theft and burglary.

There have been 26 Operation Relentless “days of action” since its launch in June 2005, which has resulted in more than 2150 arrests.

“Operation Relentless on Property” has targeted thieves and those who handle stolen goods in addition to highlighting crime prevention initiatives to the public to foil burglars and other criminals.

As part of the day of action, police and partner agencies engaged in a range of activities across Somerset. A warrant was carried out in the Taunton area leading to the arrest of a man for handling stolen goods. Vulnerable Vehicle Checks were carried out across the area, inspecting vehicles and identifying those with items of value left on display. The owners of the cars have been sent a letter reminding them to keep items such as phones, MP3s and Satellite Navigation Systems out of sight.

Officers also visited several second hand goods retailers with Trading Standards to ensure that they were complying with regulations and not trading in stolen items. Six arrests were made during the course of the morning. Five men were arrested for theft and another man was arrested for handling stolen goods. Four have been given bail pending further enquiries.

Officers from the district’s CID department also managed to reunite 250 items of detained property with their rightful owners this week.

Detective Inspector Alan West said:

When police receive items of property that have been recovered from thefts and burglaries, officers try to trace the owners of the items to return their possessions to them. If electrical items are registered on Immobilise and other items such as jewellery or antiques are property marked with the owners address or postcode, this process can be straightforward.

However, unmarked or unregistered items can languish in the Detained Property Department unclaimed for long periods and some items can never be linked to an owner. I would really encourage the public to either register their items on Immobilise or mark them with a UV pen or other property marking device so we can return them to you if the worst were to happen. Marking your items can also sometimes act as a deterrent to would be criminals.

Neighbourhood officers and PCSOs were also in Taunton town centre this morning registering people’s property, such as mobile phones, cameras and mp3 players, on the Immobilise website and carrying out bike and property marking. The Deputy Chief Constable, Rob Beckley, joined them in giving festive advice on how to beat the burglars and assisted with a bicycle property marking session. The team will be in the town centre again on January 13 and 21 offering these services for those who had new bikes or electronic equipment for Christmas.

In Bridgwater, officers held a property marking session at Bridgwater College for the students to register mobile phones and laptops on the Immobilise website and officers from Burnham-on-Sea visited King Alfred School in Highbridge and Kings of Wessex School in Cheddar to take property marking kits to mark and record mobile phones and MP3 players. Other property marking sessions also took place in Wellington Square in Minehead and the Town Hall in Dulverton.

DCC Beckley said:

We really want people to have a wonderful Christmas and New Year but we ask them to take some sensible measures to ensure that their festive period isn’t marred by becoming a victim of opportunistic thieves. One-in-four burglaries occur after the householder failed to secure their home and the burglar entered the property via an open door or window!

I encourage people to think about how their house looks when they go out – don’t make it obvious that there is nobody home, leave a light on and the radio playing and most importantly – make sure you lock all doors and windows, even if you are only popping out for a short period of time.

Inspector Nick Greenhalgh from the Community Safety team at Taunton Police Station said people can help protect themselves from opportunistic thieves by employing these simple measures:

  • Ensure windows and doors are shut and locked when you are out
  • Lock sheds and garages
  • Don’t leave car keys left in an outside porch or within reach of letter boxes
  • Shoppers are advised not to leave presents in view on car seats. They should be taken home immediately and not left in the vehicle.
  • Christmas presents – wrapped or unwrapped – should not be left in view in the home.
  • Don’t leave boxes from new TVs or laptops on display outside your home, take them to the tip.
  • Register your property on www.immobilise.com
  • Mark your property – kits are available from your local police teams.

Further information regarding home security and crime prevention can be obtained from your local Safer Stronger Neighbourhood team. You can contact them by calling 0845 456 7000 or you can log on to our website www.avonandsomerset.police.uk and select the Crime Prevention heading.

To read the source article in full please go to: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/LocalPages/NewsDetails.aspx?nsid=18923&t=1&lid=5

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