Tag Archives: Home Security

Christmas is a busy time…for thieves – 10 Crime prevention tips

Christmas brings the busiest shopping weeks of the year and for many retailers often accounts for 70% of their annual revenue. Stocking our homes with the latest electronic gadgets, jewellery and must-have accessories is commonplace, unfortunately though it provides thieves with an increased incentive to commit burglaries.

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10 crime prevention tips you shouldn’t ignore…

TIP 1: Deterring would-be criminals is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention. Invest in a motion sensor flood-light or even some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home’s exterior. This will hopefully make approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar. Also, highlighting the fact your possessions are security marked and registered on Immobilise using window decals provide a further warning that your goods are traceable and not worth the risk of stealing!

TIP 2: Festive lighting – be secure. A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets.

TIP 3: Dispose of gift packaging carefully. Refuse collections over the Christmas and New Year period are normally at different times. If you can’t take packaging to a recycling point, make sure you only put your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to break apart boxes so that they do not advertise your new contents of your home to thieves!

TIP 4: Be careful not to advertise your home to burglars on social media! According to one recent study, social media is a commonly used tool for scouting potential targets. Social media savvy families have a tendency to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season, including any vacation plans. This can let burglars know when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem as if privacy settings aren’t tied down, it can allow burglars to go shopping just by viewing your Facebook profile.

TIP 5: Check doors and windows for weak spots. Government statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Installing a few dead-bolts and new window hinges could increase the security of your home exponentially.

TIP 6: Keep your curtains, drapes and window blinds closed at night, making sure valuable items are out of sight. When going out for the evening make use of inexpensive timers to give the illusion of occupancy, you should also consider leaving a radio on or go further and invest in a Fake TV device to emulate the light given of by at television.

TIP 7: Away over Christmas – plan ahead! If you’re going away at Christmas be sure to cancel newspaper or milk subscriptions. Arrange for a neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Don’t leave overly descriptive telephone answering machine messages and again make use of light timers, radios and devices like Fake TV’s.

TIP 8: Secure garages and sheds. Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment – make sure the garage is secure and your possessions are secured too in the case of bikes and tools. Naturally make sure anything portable / valuable is recorded on immobilise.

TIP 9: Don’t hide keys and use alarms if you have them. Burglars know to look for hidden door keys so don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or trusted neighbour. Many houses these days have alarms, many though are rarely set, make sure yours is on and protecting your home when you are away and overnight where possible.

TIP 10: And lastly, don’t forget to register your gifts on Immobilise (www.immobilise.com)! Most gadgets have a unique identification code such as a serial number or for mobile phones an IMEI number – This IMEI number can be found quickly and easily by pressing the following keys on your mobile handset: *#06#. If your gift doesn’t have a unique identifier there are several affordable marking kits available from the Immobilise store allowing the police to easily identify the owners of items they recover and so detect crime.

We hope that you find these tips useful and encourage you to share them with your family, friends and colleagues. As always please remain vigilant and report suspicious activity immediately to the police on 999 if a crime is in progress, 101 in a non-emergency or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police warn public on risk of shed burglaries

The Sunderland Echo have reported that Police in the area are offering vital ‘sheducation’ to the public – in a bid to keep opportunistic burglars locked out.

Crime-fighting cops in South Tyneside and Sunderland are reminding householders of the importance of shed security – after a recent surge in the number of sheds being broken into, with bikes being stored inside being the main target for crooks.

Neighbourhood Inspector Paul Young said:

People often don’t realise the value of the items they are storing inside their shed but if they’ve got expensive tools and bikes in there it all adds up and unfortunately, burglars are wise to this.

Home security is vitally important and most people install security measures to protect their home however, they then don’t have adequate security on sheds and outbuildings leaving these types of buildings vulnerable to being targeted by thieves.

A good quality lock could make all the difference over whether or not a burglar chooses to break-in to a particular building.

Officers also say registering items that are stored inside the shed on national property register immobilise.com can help ensure it is returned to the owner if it is stolen. It also helps identify those involved in burglary.

Insp Young added:

When we recover property we suspect has been stolen we will search immobilise to see if the property has been registered – if it has not only can we return the property but we can clearly identify the person in possession of the property as not being the owner and arrest them for handling stolen goods.

To register property visit: www.immobilise.com

South Liverpool residents deter burglars with Immobilise

Residents in south Liverpool are taking advantage of the Immobilise National Property Register to help them to protect their belongings, and deter burglars at the same time.

South Liverpool Homes (SLH) has joined up with Merseyside Police to offer the free scheme to all SLH tenants.  At the housing association’s monthly walkabout on Wednesday 6th May, staff chatted to tenants to make them aware of the scheme which aims to encourage people to register all their belongings on a national database.

The landlord is making it as easy as possible for tenants to take part in the scheme by registering their belongings for them if they are unable to access the internet.  This can include anything of value from mobile phone, tablets and game consoles to TV’s, bikes and watches.

SLH tenant Mrs Mooney is the first SLH tenant to take advantage of the scheme:

I thought this was a great idea so I jumped at the chance to register.  It took about 15 minutes to do and now I have peace of mind that if any of my belongings do get stolen, there’s a good chance I’ll get them back.

Sharon Marsh, SLH’s Community Safety Manager said:

We are able to offer this service by working in partnership with Merseyside Police who will assist us with registering as many tenants as we can.  Tenants can also register their belongings themselves by logging onto the Immobilise database where they will be given a secure login.  Once registered, we ask tenants to tell us so that we can give people stickers to put in their windows which we hope will deter potential burglars.

SLH and Merseyside Police launched the scheme following consultation with residents in Speke. Once 25% of residents on a street sign-up, they will be issued with free street signs that advertise that the area takes part in the Immobilise
scheme.

To read the source story please go to:
www.24dash.com/news/housing/2015-05-12-New-scheme-launched-in-South-Liverpool-to-deter-burglars

Police advise residents to log their gifts

Northumbria Police NewsPolice are urging people to get their new gifts logged to keep them out of the hands of thieves.

The Northumberland Gazette has reported that Northumbria Police are advising residents to get new bikes, phones, electricals, tools and other valuables registered with free property logging website Immobilise.com

And those who received iPads, iPhones and other similar smartphones and tablets for Christmas are urged to activate built-in GPS systems and download apps which help locate stolen property.

The immediate crime prevention activity will mean if new property is stolen and later recovered it can be returned to the rightful owner, as well as potentially catching criminals in possession of stolen goods.

The advice is part of Operation Soundwave – a campaign aimed at cutting volume crime and tackling opportunist thieves – which is ongoing over the festive season.

Immobilise is the world’s largest register of property where members of the public can log their valuables – anything such as mobile phones, bikes, tools, electricals and gardening equipment. It’s free to register and takes just a few minutes to sign up.

Ownership details can be viewed by police across the country on the National Mobile Property Register (NMPR), which allows officers to check a recovered item and instantly find the owner.

Northumbria Police Superintendent Mick Paterson said:

Many people will have received devices such as iPhones, games consoles and laptops for Christmas and I’m sure crime prevention is not something which is at the forefront of people’s mind when they have just received gifts and are enjoying festivities.

But I’d like to remind people that it’s important to take a few moments to take a note of the serial number and register with immobilise where an image can be uploaded and the serial number recorded.

It means if it is stolen and recovered, it can be returned to the rightful owner as well as ensuring those found in possession of it can be dealt with, potentially preventing further crime.

The more people that register with immobilise, the easier it is to return stolen property and the more difficult it is for criminals to profit from their crimes.

Gadget-lovers are also being urged to make the most of tracking technology to stay one step ahead of thieves.

Supt Paterson added:

We of course would urge everyone to protect their property from thieves in the first place, such as making sure phones are secured in zip pockets or handbags, not leaving items lying around on pub or cafe tables and never leaving electronic items on show in a vehicle.

However, if such equipment is stolen, taking this simple step can make the difference between losing the item forever or having it tracked, located and seized by police.

Modern technology has its place alongside the more traditional police work and we’ll continue to combine all investigative techniques to cut crime across Northumbria and stop thieves in their tracks.

For more crime prevention information visit http://www.northumbria.police.uk/crimeprevention, while people are urged to sign up to free property register Immobilise at www.immobilise.com

It’s also vital residents report anything suspicious to police straight away so they can investigate. Police can be called on 101, or to report a crime ongoing dial 999.

Sussex Police urge residents to register on Immobilise to help identify recovered property

Sussex Police Operation MagpieSussex Police are urging the public to join the battle against burglars by logging their valuables on the Immobilise National Property Register which allows police and the public to work together to make stolen items too hot to handle.

Residents can enter the details of their possessions on the free website and report when they have been stolen.

Police officers not just in Sussex but around the UK can then check the details of items that they find or seize against the database. By confirming that the seized items had been stolen, officers can then look to prosecute whoever they were seized from for burglary or handling stolen goods – and can return the valuables to their rightful owners.

Sussex Police is encouraging residents to use Immobilise as part of Operation Magpie, the force’s crackdown on burglary across the county.

In support of Operation Magpie and Immobilise Registration Sussex Police have also produced an informative video that can be watched on youtube: Sussex Police Youtube video promoting Immobilise

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Betts said:

When our officers respond to reports of burglary, they often cannot get enough detailed information about the items which have been stolen – without old boxes for electrical items or photographs of jewellery for example it can be very difficult to accurately identify what has been taken.

Better information greatly increases the chances of us being able to reunite stolen property with its rightful owner, helps us to get a better picture of which burglaries could be linked and gives us the evidence we need to prove that property is stolen.

That helps us to link items to burglars and those trading in stolen goods and means we can get offenders off the streets and into the courts.

Katy Bourne, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, is backing the campaign urging residents to register their property. She said:

I’d like to see as many residents as possible playing their part in helping to beat burglary in Sussex.

It’s simple – and it’s free – to register your personal items on the website and I hope people will do so. As well as making it easier for the police to track down registered owners, it can also act as a deterrent as it makes it harder for thieves to sell items on because they can be identified.

As well as registering mobile phones and electrical items with serial numbers, residents can also register other items by uploading photographs and giving a description.

They can also use the website to instantly access a list of all their property and to print off certificates of ownership if they need to make a claim to their insurance company.

You can register your property in just a few minutes by visiting www.immobilise.com.

Don’t let burglars ruin your Christmas

Avon & Somerset Police want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Christmas.

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.

Christmas shopping

  • 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.

York residents invited to register valuables on national Immobilise database

PCSOs Rachel Shaw and Tony Barge show Tracey Simpson-Laing how they use the new scanning equipment. (Source: York Press)

The York Press has reported that residents worried about their property being stolen are being invited to register their items on the Immobilise National Property Register to make it easier to return stolen goods to their owners.

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.

To view the source article please go to: http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/

Police urge residents to help immobilise thieves

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.

To view the source article and for more crime prevention advice visit www.lancashire.police.uk .

Lincolnshire Police say: If You Love It, Log It!

As Christmas approaches, Lincolnshire Police are urging people to log their expensive gifts and precious belongings on Immobilise.com, the world’s largest free register of ownership details.

Any item can be registered on Immobilise from small pieces of jewellery to plasma screen TVs and it is especially popular with people wishing to register mobile phones and bicycles.  The system records serial numbers and also allows the user to upload a photo and description.

The database is linked directly to police systems, enabling officers to trace the owners of recovered property and to also identify the item as being stolen if found in the possession of a suspected thief.  This ability to link suspects to a crime via the database means that Immobilise acts as a major deterrent to criminals.

Detective Sergeant Richard Myszczyszyn, from Skegness CID, said:

Burglars and thieves know that there will be rich pickings to be had in the post Christmas period and the use of the Immobilise database is a valuable addition to your crime prevention precautions. You can register as many items as you like, and then if they are lost or stolen you simply log back on to register them as such. The police can check any property they recover, whether that be from raids, routine checks on second-hand dealers or items brought into custody and, if they find anything that is listed as stolen, not only will you get your belongings back, but the thieves can be brought to justice.

DS Myszczyszyn ended by saying:

We want to send a clear message to those potential thieves that anything logged on Immobilise is too hot to handle. By registering your property and marking it as such, Lincolnshire residents can take steps to ensure they are much less likely to become a victim of crime.

To read the source article please go to www.lincs.police.uk

 

 

‘Lock it or lose it’ warn Harrogate police

Harrogate police are urging residents to ‘lock it or lose it’ after a recent increase in the number of burglaries and car break-ins.

Officers believe that the rise can be combated with the help of the community who can help reduce further offences by taking preventative security measures.

Although the district has enjoyed falling figures in crimes such as robbery, sexual offences and thefts from outbuildings, burglary and theft from vehicles remains an issue which officers are keen to stamp out.

Sergeant Geoff Crocker, of Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:

Harrogate is one of the safest towns in the safest county in the country, however some people’s complacency over crime prevention is making life easy for criminals.

We have to act now to ensure that offenders don’t have it their own way. Make life difficult for them, most thieves are opportunistic – if they see an unsecured door or window they will be in.

What they don’t like is a challenge, it is vital that people take the proper security measures to ensure that their houses or cars are as difficult as possible to get into.

Over half of burglaries occur at properties that have been left insecure and these offences could have easily been prevented by closing windows and locking doors.

Sgt Crocker also pointed out that burglaries where offenders force entry to a property are almost exclusively committed at homes which don’t have burglar alarms fitted. He added:

While investigating a recent burglary, I noticed that the offenders had climbed over several garden fences of neighbouring properties to get to the house. All the surrounding properties had burglar alarms, the house that was burgled did not.

Laptops, jewellery and car keys were stolen from the house and Sgt Crocker is urging residents to consider the loss of possessions and inconvenience against the cost of having adequate security measures installed.

Thefts from unattended vehicles have also gone up in Harrogate, mainly because many people are still leaving their cars unlocked.

Laptops, iPhones, Blackberrys and wallets have all been stolen from insecure vehicles recently, in thefts that could have been easily prevented by locking the door and removing valuable items from view. Sgt Crocker said:

The lack of security awareness shown by some motorists is staggering, the vast majority of thefts from vehicles have come as a result of the car being left unlocked.

Thieves are simply walking along the road or up driveways looking for vehicles that have been left insecure.

We really need to get the message across: lock your car, remove all valuable property and leave nothing on view.

Police are urging the residents of Harrogate to work with them to make life tough for criminals and help reduce the number of burglaries and thefts occurring in the town.

Local Safer Neighbourhood officers are always happy to give crime prevention advice and everyone can do their bit to ensure their homes and cars are secure.

Sgt Crocker added:

We need to ensure firstly that thieves aren’t getting an easy steal and secondly that they have an increased risk of getting caught.

The first part of this has to come from the community by observing basic security procedures including using locks that they already have.

The second part is down to the police, to relentlessly pursue criminals, put them before the courts and continue to reduce crime in Harrogate District.

Sgt Crocker has offered his top 10 crime prevention tips to residents wishing to guard against burglary and theft:

  • Remove all valuables from your vehicle and ensure it is locked.
  • Keep keys in a safe place, out of reach of doors and windows.
  • Get a burglar alarm fitted preferably from a SSAIB or NSI approved company.
  • Part set your alarm before going to bed.
  • Photograph expensive jewellery, mark it with Smartwater and keep it in a safe.
  • Photograph and mark expensive antiques and pictures.
  • Create an immobilise account at www.immobilise.com and record your possessions on the database.
  • Join your local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
  • Check your door lock. If it does not show kite mark BS3621, contact the police, a locksmith or your NHW coordinator.
  • If you see something suspicious report it

To visit North Yorkshire Police’s Website go to: http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6736