South Yorkshire Police have recovered stolen property valued over £3million from criminals who are intent on causing misery to South Yorkshire residents and motorists.
Fishing tackle, quad bikes, jewellery, building materials and a lorry carrying a crane are just some of the more unusual items seized by officers since the launch of Operation Lockdown in October 2013.
Electrical items, mainly sat navs, car stereos, TVs, mobile phones and games consoles, have also been recovered from burglaries and vehicle crimes, and where possible, returned to their owners.
Chief Inspector Iain Chorlton said:
Having valuable or personal items stolen from your home or car is a distressing experience so any property we recover and return to people is good news.
We’re doing our utmost to track down criminals and recover stolen items but the public can help us, and more importantly themselves, by registering their property on the Immobilise website.
The online database is quick and free to use, and could help individuals to get their items back if they are lost or stolen. We know that people would rather not have anything stolen in the first place but thanks to Immobilise and the action we are taking, life is becoming more difficult for thieves.
The Force is deploying ‘sting’ vehicles across the county and officers are working closely with Crimestoppers to maximise intelligence and add to the thousand-plus arrests that have already been made during Operation Lockdown.
Between 1 October 2013 and 12 January 2014, police recovered stolen property linked to burglary and vehicle crime in South Yorkshire worth an estimated £3,017,629.
South Yorkshire Police would love to return stolen items to their owners and people can register their valuables free of charge at www.immobilise.com.
Further information about home and vehicle security is available in the Help and advice section of the Force’s website.
Anyone with information about burglary or vehicle crime should contact South Yorkshire Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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.
We are pleased to announce that reportMyloss has recently been expanded to encompass the whole of the UK. This will help the public and Police more effectively address the issue of recording and repatriating lost property.
The reportMyloss service was launched a few years ago to help Avon & Somerset Constabulary more effectively handle how lost property was dealt with. The service integrates directly and in real-time with the Police’s National Mobile Property Register (www.theNMPR.com) ensuring the owners of recovered property can be quickly be identified and repatriated with their possessions.
The service successfully replaces the often paper based recording processes that still exist in many property offices. The benefits of this are numerous and significant for all parties:
A paper based report will likely be sat in a book at the property office – reportMyloss is an online National system ensuring the items details can be searched by any UK Police force regardless of location.
Getting to a Police station to make a report, can be a time consuming and costly process – reportMyloss is based entirely online, allowing low cost reporting at your convenience day or night.
Many lost items need to be reported for insurance purposes – reportMyloss provides standardised and verifiable loss report numbers that insurers may accept and/or require to process a claim.
For the Police the benefits are significant and measurable. Forming part of the National NMPR system, use of reportMyloss makes it far more likely the owner can be identified. This not only helps clear property rooms and reduces storage costs. Also importantly it removes the burden of taking the loss report from the Police force. These savings free up Police resources that can then be targeted on more important Policing duties.
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.
Recipero is pleased to announce that it recently received the highly regarded Secured by Design (SBD) Award for its services and products, including the Immobilise National Property Register service & products, plus linked services including the Police NMPR service, CheckMEND and Report My Loss, all of which are aimed a helping identify, investigate and deter crime and associated criminality.
The Secured by Design Award is the culmination of many months of work that also saw Recipero become both ISO9001 (Quality Management) and ISO27001 (Information Security Management) certified.
Secured by Design is the initiative from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) that aims to reduce crime and calls for the use of services or installation of security solutions that meet police-approved standards. Businesses whose services and/or products have been certified by an accredited testing body to the specified standards, can apply for SBD membership and licence to utilise the scheme’s logo.
The SBD logo is the only symbol that guarantees national Police approval of a product or service, providing customers with reassurance that the solution provides a proven level of resistance to criminal attack.
Utilising SBD-accredited services and security products is a quick and simple way to ensure compliance with new guidelines. Consumers and specifiers are also recognising that SBD provides an easy route to help identify which of the many technical standards indicates a service or product is an effective crime prevention measure.
Neil Stewart, Recipero’s Commercial Director said:
Gaining SBD approval for our services is a significant achievement, and demonstrates Recipero’s commitment to data security and product quality. It also serves to provide Recipero’s valued customers with reassurance that we continue to meet the high standards we have reputation for delivering.
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.
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
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