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.
Leicestershire Police are holding a special Immobilise Property Registration event on Monday 26th November.
The event is being run by officers and local volunteers in Oadby where shoppers are going to be encouraged to sign up to the Immobilise National Property Register.
Police Community Support Volunteers will be in the Foyer at Asda, Oadby on Monday November 26, 2012 between 10am and 4pm encouraging people to sign up to the free Immobilise Project.
They will be using the latest state of the art technology – called Hermes – to sign people up to the scheme. The Hermes scanner is a hand held device which can be used to accurately and quickly register property onto Immobilise. It is a very quick and simple process which is also very secure. Shoppers will receive an email to say they have registered with the scheme when they get home and they can then add more property.
The main aim of the project is to encourage residents to register their property on the UK National Property Register, Immobilise, which is supported by all UK police forces.
It takes less than five minutes to create an account and register one item – usually a mobile phone. Other items that can be registered include, laptops,i-pads, i-pods, games consoles, photographic equipment, sat-navs, cycles etc. You can also upload photographs of items such as jewellery, antiques etc which don’t have a serial number.
All you need to do is provide a few details including an email address. The system is completely secure and can only be accessed by the registered user.
Members of the public can log on to www.immobilise.com to register the serial numbers of expensive electronic items which will assist the police in tracing property in the event it is stolen.
Sgt 961 Andy Sibson said;
Immobilise is a great way of registering your property. It’s free, easy to use and secure. I would encourage everyone with computer access to use it.
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#
Cycle theft in Sheffield is a growing problem according to recent report in the Star. It was reported that only 41 of the 1,595 bicycles stolen from Sheffield city centre in the last 10 years have ever been recovered by police. The number of bike thefts in the city has soared in the last decade, particularly around the railway station and the universities.
With the average stolen bike costing just under £400, that means cyclists in Sheffield have been saddled with a bill of £638,000.
Sgt Darren Nugent, from South Yorkshire Police’s city centre safer neighbourhood team, said:
Over the last couple of years bike theft has gone up and up.
We have caught two or three thieves who were out stealing bikes all the time, and taking those few out of the equation has definitely curbed bike theft.
Officers also have another weapon in their armoury – the tracker bike. The GPS-enabled bikes are locked at theft hotspots and left unguarded to tempt thieves. If stolen, the device alerts police by text and officers use Google Earth to pinpoint its location.
Sgt Nugent advised cyclists to spend at least 10 per cent of their bike’s value on a lock and said two locks were always better than one. He also urged bikers to register their property at Immobilise – the UK national property register.
The Immobilise Property Register is linked directly to Police systems helping to quickly identify the rightful owner of recovered property, for more information go to www.immobilise.com/about
Following string of bike thefts and a successful operation to catch the thieves responsible Bristol police have made several suggestions on how to avoid becoming a victime of bicycle related crime.
Police are urging people to always secure their bikes and to take with them any objects that can be removed.
Their advice includes:
Invest in quality locks. For a decent lock expect to spend a minimum of £40 or approximately 20% of the value of your bike;
Register your bike for free by visiting national property database Immobilise (www.immobilise.com). If the worst happens and your bike is stolen police can use the database to reunite you with your property;
Always lock your bike to an immovable object and don’t just lock the frame to the wheel;
Don’t lock your bike in the same place on a regular basis. It could be stolen to order;
Recipero is delighted to announce it has been awarded the prestigious ISO9001 accreditation. Les Gray Recipero’s designated lead on this project said:
We are delighted to have been formally awarded this accreditation. We have always worked within a framework of management processes and standards not dissimilar to ISO9001 and this now allows us to work towards several other accreditations we would like to achieve.
As part of the launch of Mayor Boris Johnson’s YOU Matter (Youth Organisations in Uniform) programme, the Mayor has become a member of the Immobilise National Property Register with the aid of the Merton Volunteer Police Cadets.
Volunteer Police Cadets demonstrated Merton Police’s latest crime fighting kit, a laptop and scanner provided by the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU), which uploads mobile phone IMEI numbers to the secure crime prevention web site at immobilise.com.
I would say to any young person, come on and give it a go!
Using the Mayor’s own phone, the Cadets explained how police use the unique IMEI number to identify stolen mobile phones and arrest offenders, whilst registering his handset on the free property protection database.
In plans outlined by the Mayor today, thousands of youngsters will have the opportunity to join uniformed groups like the Volunteer Police Cadets, Guides, Scouts and Armed Forces Cadets. The £1.3 million programme, being run by the Safer London Foundation, will help young people develop vital skills and instil discipline and responsibility in young people, particularly those who are or at risk of being excluded from education, training or employment.
The initiative is part of Team London, the Mayor’s strategy to harness volunteers to deliver key projects to improve the quality of life and opportunities of Londoners.
Speaking at the Merton Sea Cadets Centre for the launch, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
Uniformed groups are a fantastic way for youngsters to get involved in a myriad of activities, which will help equip them with the skills they need to succeed in life. It’s a modern tragedy that so many of our young people are struggling to get a foothold in the jobs market and are drifting into crime. By instilling self reliance, discipline and a sense of competition, young people can aspire to a better future.