Greater Manchester Police issue sat nav warning

Greater Manchester Police have issued a warning to sat nav owners to help them avoid becoming the victim of crime.

Residents have been advised that a few simple steps can help keep their belongings safe from the thieves;

Crime Reduction Advisor, Jackie Bell said:

In many of these cases a satellite navigation system has been taken. Thieves are breaking into the cars to search the glove box and see whether any items of value have been left.

Leaving sat nav cradles and sucker marks on display is the biggest giveaway that there is something of value in the vehicle.

Our advice is simple, by removing any trace of the sat nav system such as the cradle and sucker marks from the window and by removing valuables or personal items from the vehicle you are less likely to become a victim of vehicle crime.

Drivers should also park their vehicle in a locked garage where possible or leave it in a well-lit area as close to their home as possible. Using a steering lock and securing alloy wheels with locking nuts are also good deterrents.

Other crime prevention tips include marking valuables with your postcode and vehicle registration number, and writing down the make, model and serial number of any items likely to tempt thieves. Drivers are also encouraged to register their valuable items on the Immobilise website (www.immobilise.com).

To report crime call police on 0161 872 5050 or for more information visit www.gmp.police.uk.

To read the source article in full please go to: Greater Manchester Police

Tougher moves to fight bike thieves

Cambridge News Online has reported that a Cambridge College is improving cycle security after a marked increase in bike thefts throughout the city.

There was a 64 per cent increase in cycle thefts in March compared to the same month last year.

Some 264 bikes were stolen in Cambridge and surrounding villages, up from 161 in March last year.

That has prompted Cambridge Regional College (CRC) to take action against the thieves.

The move follows a report in the News about police reviving a crackdown on cycle crime.

Russ McPherson, CRC’s security student liaison manager, said:

We are fully committed to combating cycle crime and as such have only this week, as part of the new summer term, reminded students and staff that they can have their cycle coded by the security team at the college with a unique number provided in partnership with Cambridgeshire police and the Immobilise scheme.

We have tagged around 150 cycles in the last term and have helped owners register them on the http://www.immobilise.com website.

The scheme has helped to tackle the scourge of cycle theft.

Mr McPherson said:

Since the introduction of the tagging scheme last September we have had only three reports of stolen cycles from the King’s Hedges site, which helps to prove that tagging cycles is, while not foolproof, a very good deterrent to cycle theft and greatly aids recovery and return to the rightful owners.

To read the source article in full please go to: Cambridge News Online Website

Police target mobile phone stores in a crackdown on the sale of stolen goods

Emma Stone of the Coventry Telegraph has reported that police in Coventry are targeting mobile phone stores in the city in a crackdown on the sale of stolen goods.

Officers from Stoney Stanton Road police station, along with officers from Coventry City Council’s Trading Standards, have been carrying out spot checks at shops selling mobile phones and accessories.

Four mobile phone stores have been visited in the last week and two were found offering illegal handset unblocking services.

The stores were searched and seven stolen mobile phones were seized from the two city stores.

In addition to the stolen phones, trading standards officers also seized a large quantity of counterfeit phone accessories from one of the shops visited.

As part of the police operation, second-hand mobile phone stores are being asked to log details of the serial number, phone number and customer details of all handsets brought in for sale.

Shop owners are also being advised to check national database

will tell us if a phone has been stolen.

Anyone wising to carry and use phones which have been stolen are now much more likely to be caught.

Stores that do not check the validity of the phones they are selling will also be targeted by police and trading standards officers.

He added that further spot checks were planned throughout the city.

To read the source article please go to: Coventry Telegraph

Eagle-eyed officers help cut car crime

Hunts Post have reported that POLICE officers peeping into parked cars in St Neots has helped reduce crime, according to the latest figures.

Officers look to see if any valuables have been left in the vehicle – such as satellite navigation systems and mobile phones – and then alert the owners.

Eagle-eyed police community support officers have been peeping in vehicles in St Neots and Eynesbury – cutting the number of thefts by more than a half.

Sector Inspector for St Neots, Mark Greenhalgh, told the Hunts Post, the Vehicle Alert Scheme has been extremely successful.

He said there were 15 vehicle-related crimes in the St Neots area in March 2008 compared to seven in March this year.

Vehicle crime in the town is down 25 per cent compared to last year. I put this decrease down to the vehicle alert scheme, which is about educating vehicle owners on how to avoid being a victim of crime.

The scheme is about warning motorists that this time they were lucky because it was us who saw these items on show. But next time it could be someone else. Thieves are opportunists and it’s about not giving them the opportunity.

The vehicle owners are sent a letter reminding them to remove all property and register any valuables at http://www.immobilise.com/ to help police identify it.

Inspector Greenhalgh added:

Police are doing everything they can to prevent theft from vehicles but motorists must play their part by removing tempting items from display.

To read the source article in full please go to: Hunts Post – Eagle-eyed officers help cut car crime in St Neots

ReportMyLoss wins a birthday award

On the anniversary of its first year of operation, Avon and Somerset Constabulary has just announced that Reportmyloss.com has won an award in this years’ Problem Solving Competition.

The competition serves to recognise initiatives that bring direct and significant improvements in service to the public.

Reportmyloss was introduced by the Force as a quick and effective way to record lost property. It continues to go from strength to strength, with over 70% of the Force’s lost reports being submitted online. The system has helped to reunite thousands of items with their owners and to reduce the numbers of calls to their Force Service Centre.

ReportMyLoss wins Problem Solving Competition
ReportMyLoss wins Problem Solving Competition

For more information about the ReportMyLoss system please go to: www.reportmyloss.com

To visit Avon and Somerset Constabulary please go to: www.avonandsomerset.police.uk

Help beat the burglar this Spring

Avon and Somerset Police are asking us all to help beat the burglars this Spring by taking a few easy steps to help protect your home.

As the warm weather and longer evenings arrive, more people will be spending time outside or going away for an Easter holiday. This can leave houses easy targets for opportunist burglars who will seize their chance if they spot a window left open, an empty home or a hedge which allows them to work hidden from view.

Avon and Somerset suggest that there are some simple steps you can take to protect your house and garden while at home and on holiday.

The focus of the preventative measures is on securing garden boundaries and entry points to houses, and ensuring houses look lived in while you are away. If you are going away on holiday try to make sure your house still looks lived in. Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries, make sure there are no valuables on view and invest in some timers which turn on lights when it is dark. While at home remember to make sure garden boundaries are secure with high fences, locked garden gates and security lighting which comes on when people are around.

Speaking about these tips, Detective Chief Inspector Martyn Triggol said:

The steps you can take to protect your home are not expensive or time-consuming. They are easy to implement and effective in reducing the risk of becoming a victim of burglary. Look at your home from the street and think about how a burglar may break in – and then take the necessary steps to deny them this opportunity. Thieves will use whatever they can find to help them including ladders, tools which are left lying around and wheelie bins, which can be easily moved and can be used to reach higher windows. The Avon and Somerset Constabulary website has tips on securing your home and I would recommend that people take a look.

The effort invested now may save a great deal of inconvenience later on if you are unfortunate enough to become a burglary victim. Many stolen items will be irreplaceable, such as photographs stored on stolen cameras and phone numbers stored on stolen phones. Victims may also have to spend time cancelling stolen bank cards, passports and driving licences, replacing door locks and filling out insurance claim forms.

Anyone who feels they would benefit from further advice can speak to a crime prevention officer by calling Avon and Somerset Constabulary on 0845 456 7000.

To read the source article in full please go to: Avon & Somerset Police

As evenings get lighter and warmer police recommend simple measures to keep property safe

Now that the clocks have gone forward, police are urging people to keep their property safe. The as the weather gets warmers and the evenings lighter, criminals are known to take advantage of ready access that open doors and windows afford to them.

Suffolk police, as reported by the Lowestoft Journal, has suggested that there are a few simple measures which can protect people’s property.

Ben Cook the inspector for community safety in Suffolk, said:

It may be tempting to leave windows and doors open as it gets lighter and warmer, but this is an invitation for a burglar to take advantage of easy access to your home. Whether you are inside or outside in the garden, keep doors and windows secure so only you can get in and out.

The same applies to your garage or shed – once you’ve removed the lawnmower, tools or barbeque you’re using, lock it behind you. Never leave items of value unattended in your garden, and don’t leave them on display through a window either. Mesh or bars can be fixed on shed and garage windows to conceal your property and deter criminals from breaking in.

Keep vehicles in secure garages where available, or parked in an open, well lit area. Keep hedges and shrubs cut back and fences, gates and walls in good repair. Make sure items such as bicycles, ladders and motorised vehicles that can be locked, are locked. Lock smaller items in cabinets and always keep keys safe and out of sight. Houses, sheds and garages can also be alarmed.

Police also recommend the registration of valuables and possessions on the National Property Register at: www.immobilise.com.

To read the source article in full please go to: Lowestoft Journal

£250K New Home Office funding to tackle mobile phone crime

The Home Office has recently announced that £250,000 of funding has been made available to help police more swiftly identify stolen mobile phones.

The scheme will see the Police National Computer (PNC) linked to the National Mobile Phone Register (NMPR) enabling frontline officers to quickly and easily check if a phone has been registered as stolen from its rightful owner.

Home Office Minister, Alan Campbell said:
By working closely with the mobile phone industry we have already put in place measures to make it harder for thieves to profit from mobile phone theft – around 90% of handsets reported stolen are now blocked within 24 hours of reporting reducing their value and the incentive for thieves.

Linking the National Mobile Phone Register to the Police National Computer will also provide enormous benefits to the fight against mobile phone crime. Currently an average of 25% of searches result in the police obtaining vital information that could result in property being retrieved and cases being solved. I believe that putting this invaluable tool at frontline officer’s fingertips will see that number rise further.

The NMPR (National Mobile Property Register) is the national police database of registered property ownership and stolen property records. It is linked to voluntary databases – such as Immobilise.com, where people can enter their phone’s details. So if the phone is lost or stolen police can identify it and return it to the rightful owner.

To read the offical Home Office press release go to: Home Office Press Release

To visit the National Mobile Phone Register (NMPR) go to: NMPR

To visit the NMPCU (National Mobile Phone Crime Unit) go to: NMPCU

Police advise people to secure garden sheds

The Leigh Journal has reported that POLICE are urging people to lock up sheds and garages to stop burglars using gardening equipment to break into homes.

They should also fit alarms and security lights.

The warning comes from PS Glynn Worley who said:

Thieves can easily use tools lying around to break into someone’s home.

The average shed or garage contains hundreds of pounds worth of equipment, and if they are insecure then offenders don’t even need to break into homes to steal valuables.

Police recommend that residents install shed alarms and security lights and security mark power tools, bikes and other valuable items with ultraviolet marker pens.

Items should be chained together using a high-security chain or cable and a good quality padlock, and the chain should be securely fastened to the wall or floor.

For even greater peace of mind, residents are urged to register valuable items on www.immobilise.com, free of charge.

To read the source article in full please go to: Leigh Journal

Police advise cyclists to register bike details

The Manchester Evening News has recently reported on the ongoing problem of bicycle crime. In Wythenshawe PC Steve Le Cheminant has reunited hundreds of owners with their stolen cycles, in the last six months alone, Pc Le Cheminant has seized 55 bikes and arrested 15 people for theft and handling stolen goods.

The 55-year-old officer has even personally returned bikes before they have been reported stolen, after tracking down their owners through manufacturers and retailers.

Pc Le Cheminant, who has served for 29 years, said:

It is very satisfying returning them to their owners, they can’t thank you enough.

Some will not even report them stolen because they don’t think they have a chance of seeing them again.

But police do take bike theft seriously. A lot of burglars and other criminals, especially the younger generation, use them as a way to get around.

Sometimes searches of the offenders’ properties lead to more stolen goods, drugs and weapons.

We can trace the bike owners through crime reports on the police computers, although some make it difficult by just describing say an expensive bike as ‘a blue one’.

Around 430,000 bikes are stolen in Britain each year, usually sold for anything from £10 to more than £300. Cyclists can combat bike theft by recording the serial number, taking pictures, locking them with robust device such as a D-shaped shackle, and registering them and other valuables on immobilise.com.

Of the 55 bikes seized recently in Wythenshawe, Pc Le Cheminant has managed to return 45 to their owners.

Sergeant Jane Butler said:

As the arrests of Pc Le Cheminant demonstrate, we have already had a huge success in retrieving stolen cycles and we hope to build on this.

Residents can assist the police by making sure they secure their bikes when they are leaving them, even for just a short time.

If a thief spots a chance to steal something and get away they will.

To read the source article in full please go to: Manchester Evening Post