Tag Archives: Home Security

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

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

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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

Police urge cyclists don’t give thieves an easy ride

The Morpeth Herald has reported that Northumberland Police are urging cyclists to stop thieves having an easy ride when it comes to stealing bikes.

The warning comes after a recent increase in the number of

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bikes being targeted by thieves in the area. Figures show that since January 1 this year there have been 69 pedal cycles stolen in the county – 56 of them were left unattended and insecure.

Northumberland Crime Prevention Advisor Del Graham said:

Always lock your bike when you leave it – even if it is only for a minute.

Store it in a shed or garage where possible and always use a quality padlock or chain to secure your bike.

Cyclists can register their bikes at www.immobilise.com which is a property register scheme supported by Northumbria Police. They should also consider getting their bike security marked so if it is stolen and recovered it can be returned.

We run a number of free bike marking events in the county so check the police website (www.northumbria.police.uk) for details of one in your area.

And finally, record the serial number of the bike and photograph it. If it is stolen this could really help officers track it down and return it.

To read the source article please go to: http://www.morpethherald.co.uk/news/don_t_give_thieves_an_easy_ride_1_3348846

Police warning over Bank Holiday crime

The Retford times has reported that with warmer weather expected over the extended bank holidays, police are reminding people to keep their homes safe from burglars.

One in three burglaries take place when thieves simply walk in through unlocked doors, or reach in to steal items through open windows.

Darren Surgey, one of Notts Police’s crime reduction managers, said:

While burglaries at insecure properties is not typically seasonal, we often see an increase when the weather is warmer.

With extended time off work due to bank holidays, people are more likely to be spending time outside, which can increase the risk of leaving doors unlocked and windows open. It only takes a second for a burglar to walk in through an open door and steal goods.

We would like to remind people that thieves are often opportunists who may try a door to see if they can get inside. Lock your doors whether you are inside or not, and don’t leave anything valuable on view within reach of an open window.

By taking a few simple steps, you can help protect your home:

  • Ensure your doors are locked to prevent a burglar from ‘walking in’.
  • Close your windows when you go out and always ensure valuable items are not left on view or within easy reach.
  • Look in when you’re out – use a timer switch to make your lights come on at night.
  • Set your burglar alarm.
  • Remove keys from view and don’t leave them in the lock or on a hall table.
  • Visit www.immobilise.com to register your items on a free property website.
  • As it gets dark, draw curtains or close blinds to prevent rooms from being visible to anyone outside.
  • Ask for proof of identity before letting anyone into your home.
  • Join your local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.

If you have any information about those responsible for committing burglaries, call police on 0300 3009999 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

To read the source article please go to: http://www.thisisretford.co.uk/news/Don-t-let-crime-rise-temperature/article-3497010-detail/article.html

Manchester Police – Beat the burglar with property marking

Police in south Manchester are urging residents to register their items on immobilise.

The police seize hundreds of items each year and many of them cannot be returned, as police do not know where they have come from.

Immobilise.com is a free database whereby residents can register valuable items and record information such as serial numbers and distinguishing marks. All police forces have access to the site and when an item is seized or handed in, officers can check the database and find out who it belongs to.

Inspector Paul Kinrade from the South Manchester Division of Greater Manchester Police said:

Our property store is crammed full of bikes, garden tools, computers, jewellery and clothing but unfortunately a lot of this is never returned to its owners as we are not able to identify where it has come from.

Obviously we hope that residents never have to go through the experience of getting broken into but registering your valuables

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on immobilise only takes a couple of minutes and it could spell the difference between getting your stolen items back or never seeing them again.

To avoid the chances of being broken into, please remember to shut and lock all of your windows and doors. It sounds really obvious but unfortunately a third of burglaries happen because homes are left insecure.

You can also help to deter burglars by leaving lights on and keeping valuables out of view.

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

Students reminded to secure their homes – Lock It, Hide It, Keep It

South Wales Police have warned that more than 50 per cent of recent student burglaries in Cardiff have been at insecure properties.

Local officers are now offering to register student valuables on free online property database www. immobilise .com as part of the on-going Lock It, Hide It, Keep It Campaign.

The registering initiative was launched this month by student liaison officer PC Tim Davies who visited Cardiff University Students Union on Tuesday, March 1 with a crime prevention and information stand.

Pc Davies said:

The latest Home Office figures show that overall burglary in Cardiff is down 3.1 per cent but Roath and Cathays, both densely populated by students in shared properties, tend to have higher rates of burglary than other areas of the city.

Unfortunately student homes provide rich pickings for criminals who know that most students will have valuables such as laptops, games consoles and IPods that can be easily carried and sold on.

Since Christmas there have been 40 burglaries at student properties in Cardiff and 21 have at insecure properties.

This means doors and windows have been left open which is perfect for burglars as they don’t need to smash glass, risk making a noise and being disturbed, and possibly leave their DNA.

The good news is that this is something students can easily address.
Students are urged to register items such as laptops, IPods and bikes on www. immobilise .com as this means the real owners can be contacted if found.

Stolen items are usually sold or passed on in the Cardiff area.

We find hundreds of bikes every year but they have to be auctioned because we never know who they belong to,” said Pc Davies.

If owners had registered them on Immobilise then they could be easily returned.

I will be in the students union on the first Tuesday of every month with my laptop and would encourage all students to call into see me for this free service and extra crime prevention advice.

To read the source article please go to: http://www.south-wales.police.uk/

If you love it, log it! South Yorkshire police promote immobilise

South Yorkshire Police are advising people: ‘If you love it, log it’.

In a countywide crackdown on theft and burglary, police are urging people to log their expensive Christmas presents and any other precious belongings on immobilise.com – the world’s largest FREE register of ownership details.

In a time when police resources are getting ever more stretched, the police are looking to focus their efforts on crime prevention, with this campaign aimed at preventing thefts happening in the first place – a more efficient way of protecting the public.

And in addition to acting as a major deterrent to criminals, the big difference with Immobilise is that as well as getting your stuff back if it’s lost or stolen, the system helps to catch the thieves as well!

The database is linked directly to police systems, so when officers recover any property, for whatever reason, they can check it against items logged on Immobilise. For example, if someone arrested on suspicion of drunk and disorderly has your stolen mobile phone in their pocket, police will also be able to link the theft to them as well – but only if it’s registered!

Any item can be registered on immobilise. The easiest items to log are electricals, or anything that has a serial number, but you can even log jewellery or ornamental items using the photo upload and description functions. 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’s when a person is brought into custody for any reason, property recovered from criminals in raids, or even during one of their now routine checks on second-hand dealers. 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.

Chief Superintendent Bill Hotchkiss said:

Part of policing involves stopping crime happening in the first place. The public can play a huge part in this by protecting their property with Immobilise, making items easier to identify and less attractive to thieves.

We want to send a clear message to those potential thieves that anything logged on Immobilise is too hot to handle. As a member of the South Yorkshire public, by registering your property, and marking it as such, you are much less likely to become a victim of crime.

To support the campaign, police are distributing packs to the public to make the process even easier. These include a selection of stickers to mark all your items as logged, so as to deter criminals, and an information leaflet to explain the process. The packs are available from your local police stations in South Yorkshire or from South Yorkshire branches of Curries, Dixons and PC World. In addition, safer neighbourhood team officers will be out and about in public places offering packs and advice to members of the public.

Visit www.immobilise.com to get started.

More details can be found at www.southyorks.police.uk