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.
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#
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.
The recommendation, published on the South Yorkshire Police website says, Police are urging people to log their expensive property and any other precious belongings on immobilise.com – the world’s largest FREE register of ownership details.
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.
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.
Earlier in the month, the county saw a number of thefts of mobile phones from cafes, restaurants and bars where people were distracted by an offender who then took their phone.
Whilst these incidents have reduced, there are still a number of mobile phone thefts across Hertfordshire and police are reminding the public of three key things to keep in mind:
Register your phone for free onwww.immobilise.com It could help your phone to be returned to you if it gets lost or stolen.
Keep your phone safe Don’t leave it in your car, in an open handbag or pocket and never leave it unattended in a public place, even for a second.
If it gets stolen, block it immediately If you are unlucky enough to have your phone stolen, let your phone operator know immediately and they can block the phone so that a thief can’t use it – and also report it to police.
Unfortunately some people are tempted to report their mobile as stolen when they know they have lost it instead – false reporting is a crime. This is an offence and, where there is evidence, police will prosecute. Prior to reporting your mobile as stolen to police, you will be asked to make a declaration that you understand the consequences of making a false claim.
Posters with the numbers of mobile phone operators are now displayed in most station receptions and are available on the police website – search for ‘mobile phone security’.
If you report your phone as stolen to the police, officers need the serial number, known as the IMEI number, of your handset to be able to fully investigate the offence.
The IMEI is a unique 15 digit number assigned to the handset at the point of manufacture. It will be placed on a national database to which all UK police have access. If you don’t have IMEI number to hand, it will be on the box the phone came in or you can obtain it from your network operator. The best way is to register it for free on www.immobilise.com, that way you have an online record of number and police can return it to you if it gets lost or stolen.
You must also ask your operator for the handset and SIM card to be blocked so they don’t work any more.
As the clock counts down to this year’s Glastonbury Festival, Avon and Somerset Police are offering festival-goers crime prevention and personal safety advice.
Glastonbury Festival, one of Europe’s largest music and arts festivals, takes place between June 22 and June 26, 2011. With more than 175,000 people heading to Worthy Farm in rural Somerset, the policing operation to help people stay safe at the festival is the largest in Avon and Somerset Police’s calendar.
Crime at the festival remains low and last year around 99.7% of people were not victims of crime. Police are reminding those people attending the festival about the things they can do to have a fun and crime-free festival.
Inspector Chris Morgan, who will be working at the festival, said:
Glastonbury is less than a month away now and I know the excitement is building for everyone lucky enough to get a ticket. People have paid a lot of money to come and we do not want anyone to have their experience ruined by becoming a victim of crime.
There are some easy things people can do which will help them have a great festival. The safety tips are quick and inexpensive but can make a real difference. The key thing to remember is to bring with you only what you need and keep anything valuable in the free property lock-ups on the site.
Festival-goers are advised to:
Plan your journey carefully. Check your vehicle is roadworthy, take plenty of food and water with you and be prepared for queues near the site.
Bring only what you need. Anything you do need should be registered on for free on Immobilise (www.immobilise.com) before you set off and either kept with you or, even better, left in the free property lock-ups.
If you need to bring a phone, find an old handset and bring that instead.
Look out for your friends and ask them to look out for you. Try to travel around the site with your friends – particularly at night when it is dark and often disorientating
Festival-goers can stay up to date with news, photos and crime prevention advice online, on social media and through text messages both before and during the festival:
Follow them online at www.glastonburypolice.org
Follow us on Twitter @PoliceatGlasto for regular tweets
Sign up to receive text messages by texting Glasto to 81819
Sergeant Shirley Eden from the Operational Planning team will be taking part in a special webchat. People will be able to log on and ask about crime prevention and what it is like to plan for an enormous event such as the Glastonbury Festival. The webchat takes place between 6.30pm and 8pm on Wednesday June 8, 2011 at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk
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 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.
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.