As Christmas fast approaches, we’d like to share a few crime prevention tips that are known to be effective at this time of year.
Make approaching your home too conspicuous for burglars – Invest in motion sensor lights or even festive lighting.
Be secure, especially with festive lighting – Check for vulnerabilities around the home and garden such as feeding cables through open windows.
Create the illusion of occupancy when you’re away, especially at night. Use inexpensive light timers or a Fake TV to deter would-be thieves.
Create the illusion of occupancy when you’re away, especially at night. Use inexpensive light timers or a Fake TV to deter would-be thieves.
Away over Christmas? Ask a neighbour to park on the driveway, redirect parcels, and be sure to cancel milk or paper deliveries.
Be cyber aware and careful not to advertise your new gifts or trips away on social media!
Don’t hide spare keys and use alarms if you have them.
Protecting your home and family need not be time consuming or expensive; a few simple steps can make all the difference.
Don’t forget to register and protect gifts and valuables on Immobilise – It is completely FREE and helps deter thieves and combat property crime. Visit immobilise.com and click on ‘register’ or if you already have an account, log in using your account details to update your property list.
We are offering 15% OFF all our marking and security products. Visit shop.immobilise.com using coupon code: Christmas15 on checkout. Discount available until Monday 4th January & includes FREE delivery on orders over £30!
Many of us will have done much of our Christmas shopping online this year. For those of you intending to visit the high street, busy shopping areas can be magnets for pick-pockets and other criminals this time of year. It’s important to be as vigilant as ever and whilst out shopping:
Put cash and cards away safely and try not to keep your valuables in one place, especially your phone – should your bag be lost or stolen you can still call for help.
Shield the keypad when typing in your PIN when making payments or withdrawing cash.
Don’t make it easy for thieves by hanging bags on chairs. If you’re having a well-earned break, keep your bag and shopping in your eye-line and away from passing hands.
Avoid overtly wearing expensive jewellery and watches in public places.
Park vigilantly in an open, well-lit area. Visit the website parkmark.co.uk for details of police approved car parks. It sounds simple butIf you must store presents in a vehicle, make sure they are out of view and that the car is securely locked.
If you witness a crime report it to shop staff or police dialling 999. For suspicions and non-emergencies call 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to provide anonymous information
Sony’s Playstation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox series X had their big reveals recently selling out immediately. For those who aren’t willing to pay thousands of pounds on eBay in a bidding war, it appears that the next best chance to score a system will be on Black Friday. That’s when a number of big-box retailers will make their latest shipments available.
If you are lucky enough to get one this holiday season and are looking to sell your old gaming system don’t forget to sell with a CheckMEND.com certificate it’s been proven to enhance listings on internet auction and classified sites to get you a much better price. All you need is the serial number to perform a check on CheckMEND to generate a certificate.
If you’re considering buying a second-hand system, on the other hand, you may want to look at a Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS4 Pro, or PS4 Slim, all having plenty of life left, there are bargains to be had. For added peace-of-mind before making a purchase don’t forget to ask the seller or retailer for a copy of a CheckMEND certificate to prove the legitimacy of the system. You may check the certificate’s authenticity free of charge by entering its number at checkmend.com/uk/verify.
Immobilise asked what people would do if they found a mobile phone left on a cinema seat. Here’s what we found.
We’re pleased to see that 76% of our respondents knew that they should hand it into the cinema’s reception. All public venues will have a policy for handling found property, and when the owner misses their phone, they are likely to assume that the cinema has it somewhere safe.
6% said they’d give it to charity, which is admirable but we’d suggest against it. The old sayings “finders keepers” and “possession is nine-tenths of the law” are actually very wide of the mark. You don’t own what you find, and you can’t legitimately gift things you don’t own, no matter how well-intentioned.
4% said they’d leave it where it is. Perhaps the second-best option but you can’t be sure the next finder will be as honest as you!
The rest of our audience said they’d drop it off at a police station. This one definitely has its place but only if you find something out in the street rather than on some known business premises. Check your local force policy; most will accept found reports online now and are unlikely to physically take found property unless it’s likely to have personal data on it, is dangerous, or is of high value.
Police will usually check Recipero’s systems for registered owners so just in case you become a victim of a loss, make sure to register your property at immobilise.com as soon as possible!
Immobilise is not just for individuals. We’re here to support small and medium enterprises too. You should register tools, fixtures and fittings, computers, phones, electronic or electrical components, retail stock – in fact, any item that your business owns.
Of course, each item must be uniquely identifiable. Most electronic devices will have an inherent serial number, but for those that don’t, you can utilise any asset marking methods you prefer – labels, engraving, RFID tags, stamps, punches, embossing – whatever is best suited to your products and processes. Immobilise supports all asset marking methods from all manufacturers; we even have some of our own that you may buy from shop.immobilise.com.
Register a new account at immobilise.com under the name of a business principal or manager; we recommend using a group email address that several people have access to rather than an individual, but it’s up to you. As a business, you’re likely to have more items to register than individuals, so we’ve provided a spreadsheet template, downloadable from your account that helps you register hundreds of things at once. If you’re already using an internal asset register, you may even be able to export your data in the same format before uploading to your account.
If you mark something as lost or stolen on your account, it’s reflected in real-time to national police systems. This unique integration ensures that if police encounter your property, they can return it to you quickly. Of course, if they have someone in possession of property stolen from you, this also provides valuable evidence to detain or even prosecute someone.
While the spreadsheet template makes adding multiple items to your account a breeze, once there, they need managing. It’s no good recording an item as yours once it is legitimately sold. With hundreds, perhaps thousands of items or rapidly changing stock profiles, this can become a chore. For this situation, we have a low-cost service that delivers additional benefits and peace of mind.
Real-time monitoring for mobile devices and technology
This service receives daily files from your existing asset management or stock control systems, recording identifying serial numbers and remaining synchronised with your systems without manual intervention.
Being always up to date enables functionality that an Immobilise account cannot deliver. Every AssetWatch record tells us that you still own that item, whether it be the subject of a lease, rental agreement, provided to an employee or merely sitting in unsold stock. In all these cases, you would not want to see the item ‘out in the wild’, cited in an insurance claim or in possession of someone in police custody. All these events indicate that the item is not where it ought to be and so we notify you in real-time of these occurrences. Also, thanks to AssetWatch’s unique integration with CheckMEND, the world’s leading second-hand trade due-diligence service, we even prevent the item from being traded.
Your retail outlet keeps a small stock of valuable consumer electronics. The local manager charged with securing and managing that stock is less than honest and is manipulating the system to their ends. They have the necessary access to stock management, and exceptions so can easily hide misdeeds. However, taking a device that is recorded on AssetWatch round the corner to the nearest second-hand trader results in that trader rejecting the sale when they run their due-diligence check. Not only that but the sale attempt is recorded and you notified of the time, date, place and item. You know that item has not been sold but now you know it’s been stolen! AssetWatch has been instrumental in identifying employee theft and benefits from being outside the normal controls within businesses.
For equipment out on rental, a similar same thing may happen. A bad actor reports to you that the item was stolen from a site or vehicle; perhaps they make a police report too in an attempt to convince you of their plight but when a sale is attempted, the date, time and in many cases, CCTV evidence will expose the crook.
Finally, straight up employee theft. The valuable laptop or phone you have provided them to do their job and an employee in need of fast cash. They try to trade the item, but it’s the trader rejects it and an automated alert is sent to you. Perhaps they succeed at the next less diligent trader, and now they report it stolen expecting the company to replace it and make an insurance claim. The times don’t add up with the first offer before the report of theft and the trader holding identifiable evidence of the seller.
In short, AssetWatch tells us the item should not be seen in trade. We use that to prevent sale among thousands of diligent traders and alert you to any attempts. In many cases, we’re telling you that your business has been a victim of theft before your stock checks or loss prevention manager would otherwise have a clue. AssetWatch achieves this while also delivering all the repatriation opportunities and benefits of an Immobilise registration.
All theft is distressing for the victim and often costly but perhaps none more so than tool theft from tradespeople. You’ve amassed the right tools for every job over several years then one day, they’re all gone in an instant, stolen from a site, your van, or your workshop. Aside from the cost of replacement, some may be irreplaceable. Tools you’ve had since being an apprentice or gifted to you by a respected mentor can be as treasured as family heirlooms.
You already know the well-trodden advice to deter theft;
Bring tools indoors overnight;
Use uprated locks and storage safes;
Always enable your alarm;
But less obvious is the importance of marking your tools.
Power tools, in particular, have serial numbers – record these as belonging to you on a secure register. The police recover thousands of tools every month, but they cannot return most as their owners are unknown. In addition to recording, clearly mark your tools, vehicles, and premises warning would-be thieves that your property is traceable.
Protect your tools with Immobilise
Immobilise – The UK’s national property register, is integrated with police systems, FREE to use, and can record serial numbers or the numbers of marking products and labels from Immobilise or any other marking product. Whatever physical marking method you choose, ensuring it’s registered at immobilise.com is the best way to maximise your chances of return.
Registration on Immobilise enables the return of your property and helps you to expedite insurance claims with accurate information. Also, a simple click, reporting an item as stolen will prevent its trade at thousands of reputable second-hand traders across the UK and mindful buyers from auction sites who make use of the world’s leading property due-diligence service, CheckMEND.com.
In a typical month, CheckMEND is used to protect buyers in over 5 million transactions each month. In a typical month, CheckMEND prevents over £30m of stolen property from being traded, and Immobilise is uniquely integrated with that system.
If you are a victim of theft, your registration and report on Immobilise prevents the thief from profiting, gives the police evidence of a suspect’s wrongdoing and ultimately, helps get your property back. Register now or login to an existing account on Immobilise.
With the darker nights soon to start drawing in, it’s a good time to think about enhancing your home security. National crime data shows homes without security measures are 5 times more likely to be burgled than those with. We must deter burglars from targeting our precious homes and valuable contents. Taking just a few simple steps can make a huge difference in keeping your home safer.
Deter burglars and keep your property secure at all time
Lock your doors properly. It sounds so simple, but most burglars get in through windows and doors that aren’t appropriately locked or have flimsy mechanisms. Be sure to invest in strong, visible locks.
Install an alarm. Nothing puts burglars off more than an alarm going off.
Use timers on your light switches and consider getting get a Fake TV product.
Remember to lock everything up and keep anything of worth out of sight
Keep expensive jewellery in a locked safe
Ensure valuables are not on display through windows
Don’t discuss going-away plans on social media. Burglars are likely to live in your surrounding neighbourhood and may even be part of your social network.
If you do go away, ask someone you trust if they can check on your property for you and take in your post.
Register on Immobilise, it’s FREE!
Register your property at immobilise.com and put warning labels in prominent places such as downstairs windows that let burglars know your property is easily traceable.
Once registered, should any of your property be found or recovered, police can easily return it to you.
Having a list of everything to hand for an insurance claim is some comfort if you find yourself having to make a claim.
Immobilise offers many affordable and easy to use products to help mark your property, meaning they will become much easier to identify if recovered. Click to visit the Immobilise shop
Second-hand smartphones are good for the environment and often represent real bargains. As with any used purchase, though it is essential to take steps to protect yourself and minimise the chances of buying a dud.
Used phones may have been involved in frauds from ID theft involving bogus airtime contracts to fake retailer returns and fraudulent insurance claims. In addition of course to the all-too-common burglary, robbery, and more serious crimes.
What can you do to minimise your risk of buying a stolen phone?
Always ask the seller for the IMEI and Manufacturer’s serial number of the phone – if they have many units to sell they may not know this until actual despatch. Still, a private or small volume seller should always be able and willing to provide this.
Use the numbers to run a check for yourself at CheckMEND.com. This will let you know if there is any record that the phone is lost, stolen, or the subject of an insurance claim, police report, or corporate ownership that may affect your ability to obtain the legal title.
Better still, ask the seller for a copy of the CheckMEND certificate produced when they first received the phone. The best sellers do this as part of their business routinely and again will be happy to provide it. An advantage here is that you may check the certificate’s authenticity free of charge by entering its number at checkmend.com/uk/verify.
Confirm the IMEI and the serial number of the phone that arrives matches what the seller said they were sending.
In a typical month, traders using CheckMEND avoid buying £35m worth of stolen property. Don’t become the second victim of a phone crime, insist on CheckMEND.
As a result of the pandemic, the impact on the economy has been severe but there are some positives to be found – the realisation by many businesses that remote working is both feasible and productive for parts of their workforce being one and a massive albeit temporary reduction in property crime being another. It’s much riskier to burgle a property when it’s occupied. Sadly, as we all venture out, so will the thieves and property crime of all kinds will rise quickly once more.
It’s difficult as individuals to think that we can impact crime, just as it’s hard to imagine individuals fighting with a pandemic. What we have seen though is that acting as one, working together to face a problem that affects us all is effective and does make a difference.
So it is with addressing crime. We can each take small actions to achieve big results. The key to success is ensuring that our actions are joined up.
The simple act of recording the identifying numbers, appearance and marks of your property in the right place takes a few minutes but it becomes very powerful when linked with police and second-hand property traders.
With a suspect in custody or the subject of stop & search powers, being able to attribute the property in their possession to an owner such as yourself may lead to arrest in addition to the obvious potential of your property being returned to you.
Indicating that your property is stolen on Immobilise will help the second-hand trade avoid buying your property from a thief. There are many thousands of responsible traders diligently checking every item they are offered. Turning away the seller of stolen property may not get your property back of course but it will devalue it to the thief, making the theft unrewarding and ultimately deterring the behaviour. Every check creates a footprint that puts a person at a specific place and time in possession of your property. Valuable intelligence for the police and a valuable deterrent.
If you are the victim of theft and need to make an insurance claim of course having those details readily recorded will help to expedite claims. Indeed, those same records of registration and trade also help insurers to deter fraudulent claims and less insurance fraud keeps your premiums down.
Finally, when buying second-hand, do ask the trader for evidence of them having checked their purchase. If they can’t provide that evidence – that you should be able to verify independently as being valid – find another trader who will. This simple action encourages responsible trading and reduces crime.
“It’s been widely publicised that criminals have exploited the vulnerable during the pandemic and will continue to do so. When lockdown restrictions ease and we all begin adapting to the new normal, their activities will continue to exploit consumer behaviour. Recipero’s Crime Reduction Ecosystem provides accurate, efficient data to minimise and prevent theft, loss and dishonesty. We prevented criminals from a gain of £35m before lockdown and will prevent even more going forwards.”
–Andrew Kewley, Head of Policing Solutions at Recipero
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