Chief Superintendent Jon Stratford who is in charge of burglary for Avon and Somerset Police said:
Over the Christmas period we’ll be working hard to keep you and your property safe. Please do your bit to help us.
After you’ve done your Christmas shopping, if you’ve bought any gadgets for your family and friends then make sure you log anything with a serial number on the national property database Immobilise. This will help us to return your property to you if it’s stolen and will make it harder for thieves to sell on.
I also can’t stress enough the importance or downloading and installing tracking software on your mobiles, tablets and laptops. We’ve had some great results recently where people have activated their tracking software as soon as their phone or tablet has been stolen. Not only did it allow us to catch the thief red-handed, it meant the victim got their property back quickly.
Whether you’re going away for Christmas or staying home to play with all your new toys, there are some simple tips you can follow to keep you and your family safe.
Your home is your castle
If you’re going away for Christmas, make sure your house looks occupied. It’s worth getting automatic time switches for lights and radios.
Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house whilst you’re away – they could park a car on your drive and collect any mail or free newspapers which might otherwise just sit in your porch.
Cancel deliveries of milk and newspapers discreetly – don’t announce your departure to a shop full of people. Only tell people who need to know you’re going away and don’t post your holiday dates on Facebook or Twitter.
Don’t have your home address showing on your luggage for the outward journey. Only put this on the inside of your cases.
Lock the garage and shed with proper security locks. Make sure your tools are locked away so they can’t be used to break into your house.
Remember to remove the keys from locked doors and windows and to keep them out of sight in a safe place.
Letter box restrictors can prevent thieves from accessing the lock from the outside.
Never leave valuables on display by windows or doors, especially those with cat flaps.
Keep presents out of sight and don’t leave packaging for new electrical goods on display outside your house – keep it out of sight until the recycling is collected.
Keep handbags, purses and wallets close to you and secure at all times.
Don’t leave bags hanging on the back of chairs in cafés and restaurants, under tables or in shopping trolleys.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, register all your gear on Immobilise!
Meet your neighbourhood team
Come to one of the local registration events going on across Avon and Somerset, where your local neighbourhood team can help you to register your property on Immobilise. You can also speak to them about any issues you might have and get general crime prevention advice to help keep you safe this winter. Visit the local pages of the Avon & Somerset Police website to get details of your nearest event.
In the run up to Christmas, Preston Police are encouraging members of the public to register their new xbox games console or PS4 on the national property register via www.immobilse.com, as soon as they’ve purchased them.
Approximately 340 games consoles have been stolen as part of thefts, robberies and burglaries in the last 12 months, across the whole of Lancashire. Very few are recovered as victims are unable to distinguish their property with serial numbers or unique markers.
PCSO Stephen Connolly says:
People are starting their Christmas shopping and games such as xboxes and the new ps4 will be very popular. The consoles are highly desirable to thieves as they are lightweight, portable and easy to sell on. Registering the items on www.immobilise.com improves your chances of getting it back if it is lost or stolen.
www.immobilise.com can be used by members of the public and businesses to register their valued possessions or company assets and is used by all UK Police forces to trace owners of lost and stolen property.
Preston City Neighbourhood Teams are working with all city centre retailers stocking the consoles, who will be distributing literature upon purchase as well as displaying ‘To Protect It, Register It’ posters.
City of York Council is urging people to register their property free of charge using new technology invested in by North Yorkshire Police and the Safer York Partnership during the week-long national campaign. The authority teamed up with police to provide £36,000 to fund the Hermes and Apollo kits.
Hermes allows the police and other organisations to upload details of property by recording identifying features, size or serial numbers, which can be retrieved from the Immobilise National Property Register that the police are able to access securely via the PNC and numerous other interfaces.
Apollo is a hand-held scanner which the police and PCSOs can use to scan an item, store its data on the National Mobile Property Register and retrieve the information when suspected stolen goods come to light.
The eleven sessions for the public are being held so people can either have small items such as smartphones or laptops registered, or can bring details – including photographs – of valuable furniture or serial numbers of bikes, for example.
Coun Linsay Cunningham-Cross, cabinet member for crime, said:
Safer York Partnership is keen to use innovative technology to deliver more effective and efficient responses to tackling crime.
By taking a few minutes to register their property on Hermes and Apollo and pick up security advice, residents can not only help prevent their belongings being stolen in the first place, but can be assured that if something is stolen, they are more likely to get it back.
Supt Phil Cain said:
Often the police recover items during searches or by other means, and it’s not always clear if those goods are stolen.
By using the Immobilise register, they can find out instantly. This not only saves officer time, but helps progress investigations and means the rightful owner gets their belongings back.
The sessions will take place at the council’s West Offices, in Station Rise, on the 19th and 20th November, between 9am and 3pm.
There are also sessions at York Explore library, in Library Square, on Friday 21st from 1pm to 5pm, and on Sunday 23rd from 11.30am to 2.30pm.
There will also be sessions at York University Library from today until Friday, 9am to 3pm, or at York Art Gallery, on Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 3pm.
Preston Police are urging residents to safeguard their valuables and avoid being targeted by thieves by entering their items onto the Immobilise National Property Register.
www.immobilise.com is a website which allows members of the public to register their valuables for free, using IMEI, Serial or Frame numbers. Any item can be added, from TVs to toasters, bikes to jewellery, but the most popular products which are stolen include mobile phones, laptops, games consoles and sat navs.
It’s simple to use and only takes a couple of minutes to create an account and add an item, then it can be updated at leisure. For those that don’t have access to the internet, they can speak to their neighbourhood policing team, who can register items on their behalf.
Police check any items they recover against the database using the dedicated NMPR service, if it’s been registered they can easily identify the owner and return the property to them, even if it hasn’t been reported stolen.
The initiative is part of Preston Police’s Operation Immobilise. Any residents that already have an account can also take advantage of free window and property stickers, which are available from their neighbourhood policing team. Street signs have already been put up in the Plungington area, in particular Cambridge Close and Ripon Street.
PCSO Stephen Connolly says:
Whilst we continue to do everything possible to trace the people involved in theft and burglaries in our communities and put them before the courts, we are also asking residents to play their part by taking simple crime prevention measures. Immobilise is a powerful tool for all constabularies and helps us to identify offenders as well as reunite victims with their property.
Northumbria Police are urging residents to safeguard their valuables and avoid being targeted by thieves.
Officers are holding free property logging sessions at the Newcastle Shopping Park in Byker on Tuesday, July 23, Wednesday, July 24 and Thursday, July 25, from 9am to 3pm daily.
People are invited to come along to the mobile police office in the car park and officers will register items for them on www.immobilise.com – The UK Nation Property Register. You don’t need to bring the items with you, just bring the details of them and an officer will open your account which you will be able to add to at any time.
It only takes a couple of minutes to use the site to record the make, model and serial numbers of property from mobiles, iPods, TVs and laptops to bicycles, jewellery, power tools and portable sat navs. The secure site can only be accessed by the registered user.
Police check any items they recover against the database; if it’s been registered they can easily identify the owner and return the property to them – even if it hasn’t been reported stolen.
It’s simple to use and residents can add more items to the site when they get home, to make sure all valuable property is recorded and kept up to date.
This is part of Northumbria Police’s volume crime campaign – Operation Soundwave – aimed at ‘turning up the volume on crime’ and silencing opportunist criminals during the summer months.
Neighbourhood Inspector Deborah Alderson, said:
By holding this crime prevention three-day event at the start of the school holidays we hope people will take advantage of the opportunity to get help security logging their property.
At this time of year we often see an increase in opportunist theft from homes and vehicles. To deter thieves security log your property on the crime prevention site then, if an item is stolen and subsequently recovered by police it can be reunited with its rightful owners.
We continue to do everything possible to trace the people involved in theft and burglaries in our communities and put them before the courts, but we are also asking residents to play their part by taking simple crime prevention measures.
I’d also encourage residents to report anything suspicious they see in their neighbourhood to police at the earliest opportunity so we can investigate.
If you can’t get along to the crime prevention event at Newcastle Shopping Park officers are encouraging residents to register their property themselves on a free crime prevention website – www.immobilise.com – and increase the chance of getting any stolen items returned.
West Midlands Police are one of the first forces in the country to fully embrace a new code of practice aimed at slamming the door in the face of thieves trying to sell stolen goods.
A Home Office Code of Practice encourages forces to get second hand stores signed up to a scheme where they check all items offered up for sale against the CheckMEND database which logs if goods have been recorded as lost or stolen.
The force have hundreds of stores such as Cash Converters, Cash Generator, Cex and other independent second hand stores signed up to the scheme and are launching it in style on 23 January with an Impact Activation Day.
On the day officers across the force will be at second hand stores, schools and shopping centres registering goods onto the immobilise database for free.
Each of the stores who have signed up check items offered for sale against the CheckMEND site. Each search generates a unique certificate number. This can be issued to a potential buyer to prove that at the time of purchase the item was not reported lost or stolen and no adverse information was recorded against it.
David Bursey from Byte size Solutions in Kings Heath, Birmingham said:
Now we can use CheckMEND we can buy items from people who come in off the street. We have been dubious about doing that in the past because we have not been able to trace the history of the item. This has opened up new possibilities in how we can conduct our business that is of real benefit to us and our customers.
DC Vanessa Lewis from Force CID who is heading up the project to get all West Midlands second hand stores signed up said:
Our officers have been passionate about getting stores signed up as one of the main ways we can stop the sale of stolen goods and ultimately deter burglars and thieves.
The more the public register their goods on immobilise, the more effective the system will be.
Residents in East Lancashire are being advised to take a few simple crime prevention measures to avoid being targeted by thieves.
Officers are encouraging people to register their phones, gadgets and other expensive items on a property database, such as immobilise.com to deter thieves and increase the chances of getting any stolen items returned.
PCSO Alex Catterall said:
Valuables left near windows can prove tempting for criminals and unlocked doors and windows make it easier for them to come in and steal your possessions.
Keeping things out of sight and locking up when you go to bed or leave home can prevent your home being broken in to.
However, if you are targeted by criminals, listing your new phones, gadgets and other presents, including bikes, on a property register database, such as immobilise.com can greatly increase the chances of getting the items returned to you. This is a free service and only takes a few minutes of your time.
When we seize suspected stolen property we can use the database to try and reunite it with its original owner. Second hand shops can also use a sister site to check whether an item is stolen when it is offered to them.
Gazelle, one of the USA’s leading high-end consumer trade-in sites, today announced it has deployed CheckMEND, a cutting-edge tool, designed to more accurately detect potentially stolen goods, including smart phones, tablets and computers.
Developed by Recipero, CheckMEND is the largest World’s largest consumer electronics background report service, the system compiles data from all major wireless carriers and law enforcement entities across the USA, providing the most complete database of devices available. Gazelle is the first consumer electronics trade-in site to deploy CheckMEND and collaborated with Recipero to tailor the product to help address the growing incidences of consumer electronics theft.
For Gazelle the introduction of CheckMEND comes at a good time with the proliferation of high-end consumer electronics theft. In fact, New York City’s police commissioner recently reported that Apple products now represent more than 40 percent of stolen property in the city and San Francisco police report that nearly half of all robberies in the city in the past year have been cell phone related.
We are dedicated to providing the best customer experience possible, and part of that promise is to protect each customer’s personal data
said Israel Ganot, CEO, Gazelle.
We always take security very seriously. With the CheckMEND deployment, we’re taking this to a new level, committing not only to the protection of a customer’s personal data when we receive the device, but also going the extra mile to ensure that any devices we accept are being sold by the rightful owner and to discourage and prevent theft of consumer electronics.
Recipero’s CheckMEND service makes it possible to do a more thorough screening by checking a vast set of carrier and law enforcement sources for a much broader set of consumer electronics. CheckMEND is capable of comparing each inquiry against more than 150 billion records of information, including more than 50 billion items.
For more information please visit the following websites.
Avon & Somerset Police are offering students advice on how to deter thieves this week as part of Operation Relentless, keeping you safe.
On Sunday September 16 2012 3,000 students arriving at the University of the West of England were given advice on keeping themselves and their property safe by university-based PC Matt Holloway.
For the rest of the week, PC Holloway will be giving students the chance to register their laptops, phones, bikes and other valuables on www.immobilise.com as part of Relentless, keeping you safe.
Neighbourhood Inspector Bob Evely said:
Registering your property for free on the immobilise website, along with marking it with your postcode, is known to deter thieves. They know that we will be able to prove the item has been stolen and identify the rightful owner. UWE students wanting help with registering their property can contact PC Holloway at the police post at the university. Of course nothing beats making sure you lock your doors and windows and never leaving your laptop or other valuables on display in your car.
Avon & Somerset Police also recommend installing security software on phones and computers which can help trace your property if it is stolen. For more security advice visit their website, www.avonandsomerset.police.uk
An initiative which is aimed at helping to reunite owners with lost or stolen property is to be launched in Bangor.
The Immobilise register is an online tool where people can register items such as mobile phones free of charge. Once an item has been registered, officers can access the database to trace the owners of any property they may recover.
Other valuable items such as iPads, laptops, iPods, game consoles, cameras and satellite navigation systems can also be registered with Immobilise.
The free Immobilise property registration service is a very powerful tool in the fight against crime,
said Chief Inspector Andrew Williams from North Wales Police.
We are urging people to register their property, in particular items such as mobile phones onto the Immobilise database. It only takes a few minutes and if your property is stolen and later recovered, there is a greater chance of it being returned.
The more people that register their phones on the Immobilise website, the better chance we have of tracking down criminals and returning stolen property back to its rightful owner.
Immobilise has been used by different police forces all over the country and has proved to be a popular tool in deterring crime.
Many stores in Bangor are supportive of the scheme including Tesco, Currys/PC World, Argos, Phones 4U, Get Connected, Orange, Carphone Warehouse, Three and Mobilia. They have all agreed to distribute Immobilise leaflets to anybody purchasing a mobile phone from their stores.
Chief Inspector Williams added:
We are very grateful to the stores for supporting us with promoting this initiative. Together, we can take positive steps to deter the buying and selling of stolen goods.
Register your property free at Immobilise and improve your chances of getting it back if it’s ever lost or stolen.
Never leave your phone on display in your car – this will tempt a criminal
Keep your phone on you, not near you. Never leave your phone on tables or bars in pubs and restaurants
Thieves are opportunists – don’t make yourself an easy target by showing off the handset you’re carrying around
Keep details such as the make, model and unique identification number (IMEI number) of your handset. This can be found behind the battery, or by dialling *#06#