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.
A YouTube video explaining how the system works is available below or at this link: http://youtu.be/LNx-5eoaXGA
For details of where officers will be across the force area on 23 January please read the full article available in this linked PDF: Full West Midlands Police Article