Police warning over security issues

The Ipswich Evening Star reported on Suffolk Police’s current campaign to remind to take crime prevention measures over the festive period to keep their valuables safe:

With stories every year about families having their Christmas presents stolen, the police have issued some simple measures to reduce the chances of this happening. These include not leaving shopping bags of presents in view in cars and not leaving presents, especially expensive ones, under the Christmas tree where they can be seen through a window.

People can register their valuable Christmas presents at an online database (www.immobilise.com). The serial number can be registered, which will help keep property safe and reunite stolen items with their rightful owners.

Inspector Ben Cook from the crime reduction department stresses the importance of being careful this Christmas.

He said: “Only place the packaging of gifts outside your property on the morning of your rubbish collection to avoid advertising what valuable items you have.”

“Residents should ensure they have some lights on timers during the darker evenings. Do not give thieves any opportunity to ruin Christmas.”

To read the full story please go to the Ipswich Evening Star Website

For thieves Christmas is a time for taking

For most of us Christmas is a time for giving, however as the West Midlands Police festive crime awareness campaign suggests, Christmas is also a time for taking.

Officers are launching a crime awareness initiative today (Wednesday 3 December) to put crime prevention awareness at the front of people’s minds as they prepare for the busy holiday season.

Robbery, shoplifting, vehicle crime, fraud and petty thefts traditionally rise at this time of year and people can easily fall prey to thieves as they may not be as security conscious as usual.

December’s dark nights give burglars plenty of cover to break into houses. Householders are reminded not to leave valuables and presents where they can be seen by passers by looking into the house.

The top five valuables burglars look for are:

  1. cash
  2. jewellery
  3. computers, including laptops and play stations
  4. credit and debit cards
  5. mobile phones

It is not just consumers that need to be more wary at this time of year, trades people are also urged to be wary and to proactively register items on immobilise.com:

Trades people are reminded to remove tools from their vans overnight, to postcode their equipment and register any tools with serial numbers at www.immobilise.com

The top five things stolen from vehicles are:

  1. auto accessories including hub caps, number plates and car badges
  2. audio items such as CDs
  3. car radios and CD players
  4. tools
  5. other on display items such as satellite navigation systems.

To read more please visit the West Midlands Police press site.

Croydon police Christmas theft warning

In the run up to Christmas Croydon police have issued a special warning for local residents to help them avoid being victims of crime over the festive period. In addition to registration on the Immobilise National property register many of the other suggestions made apply equally to other regions:

Some of their recommendations are:

While out shopping be aware of pickpockets and thieves, carry your handbag in front of you so sticky fingers can’t get into it.

When out and about Christmas shopping, leave carrier bags with gifts in secure and out of site in your car but make sure you stay vigilant, thieves may well watch car parks for a chance to break into them.

When at home make sure you wait until Christmas Day before putting presents around your tree, they can make a tempting display for a burglar.

Burglars like an easy life and it’s not just Christmas cards that come through your letterbox so fit a letterbox hood.

Burglars can force some sash windows, especially old ones without key operated locks. A good way to reduce the risk is by fixing a window box planter to the window ledge and fitting proper window locks.

Don’t highlight the fact that you have gifts and presents to criminals by openly displaying the empty packaging outside by your bins.

Registering your possessions on the immobilise website increases your chances of being reunited with them should they be lost or stolen and come to the notice of the police.

To read the Croydon Guardian article in full please go to: http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/…

Cheltenham Police Urge Students To Keep Their Accommodation Secure

Gloucestershire Constabulary make some sensible recommendations for students:

Cheltenham Police are reminding students to keep their accommodation secure. The warning comes after two student homes in the town were burgled last week.

Sergeant Mark Stephens from Whaddon Safer Community Team, who are responsible for policing issues at the Francis Close Hall, Hardwicke and Pitville campuses said: “Sadly student houses are an easy target for burglaries as with several people coming and going from the property they are easily left insecure.”

“If you add up the cost of everything you own, ipod, television, bike, laptop and mobile phone, you’ll probably be surprised at the amount it comes to.

“Along with the financial ramifications of losing these items it can also be very upsetting and devastating to your university work if any of your notes were stored on the stolen items.”

In addition to registering property on the Immobilise Property Register, Cheltenham police also make these sensible suggestions:

  1. A remarkable number of burglaries occur because a window or door has been left open, so make sure you keep them closed.
  2. Do not leave cash or valuables on display in your room and make sure valuable items cannot be seen from the window.
  3. During the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays take all items of value home with you.
  4. Make sure your property is insured.
  5. Get valuables security marked.

To see the orginal article in full go to: Space – University of Gloucestershire Students Union

South Wales Police recommend registration on Immobilise

The BBC News website has reported on a recent car crime spree in Cardiff. In addition to the usual anti theft messages South Wales Police also suggest that owners of the type of vehicles being targets should registered their radios on Immobilise to help identify thieves and return recovered property.

Ford Ka owners are being warned to be on their guard after a sharp rise in break-ins across Cardiff.

Thieves have broken into almost 90 cars since August and stolen their radios in the belief that they contain chips which can pick up free satellite TV.

Ch Insp Alun Morgan, who is responsible for auto crime in Cardiff, said: “I don’t wish to alarm car owners but as police we have a responsibility to make the public aware that Ford Kas are currently being targeted.

“My message to owners is to make sure their cars are secure, register their radio on the www.immobilise.com website and to be vigilant of anyone acting suspiciously.

To read the full BBC News Story go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7755515.stm

Immobilise recommended by Knowsley bike safety campaign

Registration on Immobilise is one of the key messages from the Knowsley, Liverpool Bike Safety Campaign

Putting the brakes on bike theft is simple if you follow the advice below:-

  • Ride with your mates whenever possible, not alone.
  • Avoid taking short cuts and stay away from dark streets and alleyways.
  • Use a good bike lock which can loop through the wheels, frame or seats.
  • Record and register your bike – log onto www.immobilise.com.
  • Never leave your bike unlocked and unattended.
  • Keep your bike in a locked garage or shed when not in use.

If you think you are being offered a stolen bike, ring Merseyside Police on 0151 709 6010 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

The Safer Knowsley Partnership includes Merseyside Police, Merseyside Police Authority, Knowsley Council, Knowsley Primary Care Trust, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service and other partners, working with the community to reduce crime and disorder across Knowsley.

Read the full and original article.

Where to go to have your mobile phone stolen

A recent report by the London School of Economics and Carphone Warehouse describe some interesting statics and recommending registration on Immobilise.com:

It’s even more likely you’d get your phone pinched in London than in New York. Why? The figures, sponsored by Carphone Warehouse and produced by the London School of Economics researchers, suggest that 15% of British adults “have had their phones stolen.” The equivalent for US adults is 7% only. And 10,000 mobile phones are stolen each month in the UK…

Link to original article: http://www.newswireless.net/index.cfm/article/4323

You are twice as likely to get your phone nicked in London than in New York

This interesting report on techdigest discusses why you are more likely to get

your phone stolen in London than Newyork:

A Carphone Warehouse “Mobile Life” report reckons that 25% of adults in London have had their phone nicked, compared to 15% in the rest of the country. 14% of British teenagers have had their phone stolen, compared to 9% of teens in the USA, and 7% of adults. In London in 2007, there were three robberies per 1000 people, whereas in New York, there were only 1.61

For the full article go to: http://www.techdigest.tv/2008/10/stattack_youre.html

Compulsory registration of mobile phones in the UK

The concept of making everyone register their handset in the UK is greatly misunderstood and is being hyped up by the press. Did you know that any contract mobile phone owner’s information can already be accessed by the Police using either a request under the RIPA or DPA procedures? So why should be people using PAYG phones not be subject to the same system? this is all this is about and it closes a loophole used by criminals that make it harder for the Police to identify stolen handsets or handsets used in connection with dubious activities. The only argument surely is whether the owner’s information is subject to the safeguards afforded by RIPA. If you use the DVLA registration of cars as a proof of concept, the Police can tap in your registration number and see the owner’s details in a heartbeat without having to make any formal requests so why not do the same with mobile phones?

Property stolen from luggage and sold on eBay!

With the recent incident highlighted in an article on the register website regarding the theft of consumer electronic from people luggage and their subsequent sale on eBay once again the use of CheckMEND could have saved a lot of people buying this stuff a lot of hassle. Remember if it looks too good to be true it probably is, always check what you are buying with CheckMEND.