Police stress importance of registering property on Immobilise.com

Police in Cambridge have been encouraging residents and students to make use of the Immobilise property registration system. In response to recent arrests made following a series of muggings Police Liaision Officer Carol Langton said that students should not get “complacent” and should always “be aware of their surroundings and not advertise personal effects”.

She also stressed the importance of registering property on www.immobilise.com:

We’ve successfully tracked down the owners of items we’ve retrieved. It does actually work.

Detective Inspector Adam Gallop added:

We would ask people in the area to take sensible precautions with regard to personal safety: stick to well-lit areas, don’t carry large amounts of cash and don’t advertise the fact that you may be carrying items such as ipods and MP3 players.

To read the source article in full please go to: Varsity – Cambridge University’s Student Newspaper

Middlesbrough Police purchase mobile phone scanners

The Middlesbrough Evening Gazette has reported that police have invested in new hi-tech equipment to help reunite lost or stolen mobile phones with their rightful owners.

In conjunction with the Safer Middlesbrough Partnership and Radio Tactics, police in Middlesbrough have bought two mobile phone scanners.

The handheld devices can pass over the barcode in the back of a registered handset and identify it there and then as lost or stolen.

Police urge mobile phone owners to register their handset on http://www.immobilise.com/which can store unique details of mobile phones, such as their IMEI and serial numbers.

The new scanners, which will link in with Immobilise, were piloted in Middlesbrough last summer with encouraging results. Thirty-seven mobiles were scanned and found to be stolen.

The property office and Middlesbrough CID will each have a scanner so that any mobiles recovered in hauls of suspected stolen goods or booked into found property can be checked – and immediately blocked if necessary while police trace the original owner.

Detective Chief Inspector Shane Sellers, Middlesbrough police crime manager, said:

The new scanners should help progress the positive work we have carried out so far. Officers have already visited and will continue to visit local stores and dealers to encourage them to promote the registration scheme at the point of sale.

Det Chief Insp Sellers said that together with the Safer Middlesbrough Partnership the police intended visiting schools to promote the initiative to younger phone owners who are often affected by theft.

He added:

Once again, I’d urge mobile phone owners to take just a few minutes to register their phones on the immobilise website – it’s easy, quick and free.

To read the source article in full please go to: Middlesbrough Evening Gazette

Police arrest 25 and seize 100k stolen goods in burglary raids

The Croydon Guardian has reported that Police have arrested 25 suspects for residential burglary and seized £100,000 worth of property as part of Operation Spotlight.

Approximately 50 search warrants have been executed and £100,000 worth of property seized.

Recovered items include over 60 mobile phones, games consoles, laptops and computer games and jewellery such as watches and necklaces.

Detective Inspector Tim Evans, Croydon Police’s Priority Crime Unit, said:

We want to remind members of the public of the need to ensure that their homes are secure. Front doors, windows and conservatories should be securely locked and have sturdy frames.

He added:

We recommend that members of the public property mark their possessions and register them on immobilise.com. Registering items and uploading photos on the immobilise website increases the chances of being reunited with them should they be lost or stolen and come to the notice of the police.

To read the source article in full please go to: The Croydon Guardian

Mark your bike if you want it back

Lucy Richards of the Basingstoke Gazette has highlighted the problem of police forces being unable to return recovered property to their owners.

Cyclists should help to combat crime by marking their bikes and recording the details.

The crimefighting call comes from PC Ian Castle, of Basingstoke police, who says many cyclists will need reminding after getting new bikes for Christmas.

He also stresses that if a bike is stolen, the owner should always inform the police because officers recover many which are never reunited with their owners.

The Winklebury beat officer said:

Lots of bikes that have been lost or stolen are found and recovered by police, but people don’t always report them stolen because they don’t think we will ever find them.

A lot of people don’t make a note of their serial number either, which makes it hard to identify the bike from others.

The serial number is usually found beneath the bottom bracket. Anyone unable to find it, should get the shop to record it on the invoice.

PC Castle said:

With the serial number, it is easier to catch the offenders and return the property and we do stop a lot of people on bikes. But unless we can identify a stolen bike, we can’t challenge someone.

Anyone wanting more information can contact PC Castle, at Basingstoke police station, on 0845 045 4545, or e-mail ian.castle@hampshire.pnn.police.uk. You can also register your bike’s details online at www.immobilise.com.

To read the source article in full please go to: Basingstoke Gazette

York pupils secure their iPods

Nicola Fifield of The York Press has reported that valuable iPods and mobile phones owned by pupils at York schools are now more secure after being registered on Immobilise.Many pupils recorded their mobile phones and iPods on the database, and serveral more teenagers have ordered cycle tags for their bicycles.

If these belongings are subsequently stolen and recovered by police, the database allows police to track down their owners.

PCSO Louisa Warburton said:

The response from the children was great and we’re hoping that they will also take home the leaflets we gave them so that their parents can learn about the Immobilise website too.

It would be great if families could register all their expensive gear on the database because it is such a useful tool for us in helping to recover property that has been lost or stolen.

To read the source article in full please go to: The York Press

BBC reports ‘Stolen goods’ fear in downturn

The BBC News website has reported that the economic downturn may tempt people to risk buying stolen goods.

Gwent Police said it had noticed a rise in thefts from cars in the run-up to Christmas and was concerned people may be led into making dodgy purchases.

The force is urging people to register valuables on a website so items stolen could be returned to them more easily.

It is also targeting car criminals with more patrols, “capture cars” and number plate recognition camera equipment.

Community Safety Inspector Terry Davies said:

We are concerned that the credit crunch may be leading more people to risk buying dodgy goods which could have been stolen, to save money.

Our guess is that with the type of stuff being stolen, there may be more people inclined to buy cheaper goods and perhaps ask less questions than before.

We know that lot of sat nav sytems are being stolen. They are becoming almost a necessary item to own.

What we feel is that because so many items of this type of property is being stolen, there must be more than usual market for them.

He added stolen goods were much easier to return to their owners if they had been registered on www.immobilise.com, a property register used by all the UK’s police forces.

To read the source article in full please go to the BBC News website

Police urge residents to register valuables

Rochdale Online has reported that Police in the area will be travelling around to encourage Rochdale residents to register their valuables on Immobilise.

Officers will be at Morrisons Supermarket, Heywood, Asda on Dane Street, Rochdale and Tesco at Middleton Gardens, Middleton between 10am and 6pm on Tuesday 13 January to demonstrate the use of the UK’s National Property Register “Immobilise”.

Nicola Bamford, reporter for Rochdale Online, said;

…by using “Immobilise” owners can put up details to be used for comparison should stolen items be recovered from criminals. The database is both simple and free and allows users to add item photographs and certificates of ownership to their accounts as well as immediately alerting law enforcement to the theft of an item.

Currently, “Immobilise” has a running record of 250 cases per week of items being successfully reunited with their owners. Furthermore, the system also aids with insurance claims as some companies may be reluctant to pay compensation to the 18% of cases where theft is due to trivial security negligence, such as leaving a window open.

To read the source article in full please go to: Rochdale Online

Gwent Police launch high-tech war on thieves

The South Wales Argus has reported that vehicle thieves and shoplifters in Gwent are being targeted by police.

Extra officers are being used this week to capture cars and use specialist number plate recognition equipment to find stolen goods and return them to their rightful owners.

Detective Inspector Peter Jones, who is leading the operation, said

This is a response to the increase in thefts from vehicles during the run-up to Christmas … We know that thieves are stealing number plates, sat navs, audio equipment like CD players and mobile phones. We also know they are selling them on and are working with second hand shops to stop that.

People can register their valuables on the specially designed Immobilise.com website so their goods can be returned if stolen.

Officers from the community safety team will also be out in January showing shoppers how to register their valuables.

Inspector Terry Davies from the team said:

We are concerned that the credit crunch may be leading more people to risk buying dodgy goods which could have been stolen, to save money.

To view the source article in full please go to: South Wales Argus Newsdesk

Pupils warned not to flaunt new gifts

Greater Manchester Police are urging pupils across Wigan and Leigh to keep new gadgets like mobile phones and MP3 players out of sight to avoid becoming a victim of street crime.

Local police will be delivering crime prevention messages to high schools in the borough over the coming weeks to warn pupils to leave their new Christmas presents at home or risk losing them.

January is a peak time for street robberies as people step out with valuable new Christmas presents, and young people aged 14-17 are the most likely victims according to police statistics.

Last January, there were over 15 reported crimes of street robbery throughout the Wigan borough.

Top of the shopping list for thieves are mobile phones, with figures showing they are stolen in half of all street robberies.

Wendy O’Neil, Crime Reduction Advisor for Wigan division, said:

We are urging children and young people to leave their valuables at home or hide them when they are on the bus, waiting at the bus stop, on the street or even at school.  Most robberies are opportunistic, so by keeping valuables out of view you can reduce your risk of becoming a target. While most people are out hunting for bargains in the sales, criminals may be on a spree of a different kind, especially in busy high street areas.

Police are issuing the following safety tips to pupils:

  • Leave your valuable items at home, or at least out of sight. Don’t show off your favourite Christmas presents on the bus, in the street or in other public places.
  • If you need to make a mobile phone call, go into a shop or café rather than phone or text on the street or on public transport. Don’t talk or text and walk!
  • If you have your phone in your pocket or bag, turn off the ringer so that you don’t advertise where it is being carried.
  • Use pin codes to lock your phone and register it at http://www.immobilise.com
  • Don’t bring large amounts of money to school. Only bring what you will spend that day – for example, just enough money for your lunch.
  • Keep to well-lit roads and public areas. Don’t use alleys or short-cuts.
  • Stay alert. Turn off your personal stereos – they stop you being aware of what’s going on around you.
  • If you think you are being followed, cross the road. If the person follows you, cross it again. If you are still worried, go at once to a place where there are lots of people, such as a busy shop, and tell someone what’s going on. If you can, speak to a police officer. If not, go to a family group rather than a single adult and tell them.

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

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Bridgwater Police initiative hailed a success

The Bridgwater Mercury has reported that a local police initiative aimed at making people aware of the need to keep their personal possessions safe during the Christmas period has been hailed a success.

As part of Operation Relentless, police officers and PCSOs took to the streets with a range of personal safety initiatives.

More than 100 people visited an information stand set up by police in Angel Place that offered people advice on how to register the valuable possessions they may receive this Christmas, such as iPods, mobile phones, laptops and games consoles on a national database.

PCSOs were showing interested people how to navigate the Immobilise website, a Government-backed database that records the serial numbers of any possession in your home in an attempt to cut crime and make it easier for police to retrieve stolen items.

A number of PCSOs also took to car parks around the town to check if drivers were leaving personal belongings and even presents on the back seats of their vehicles as part of a vulnerable vehicle scheme.

PC Andy Jenrick said:

Operation Relentless was a brilliant day and we have managed to promote the Immobiliser website in mobile phone shops, jewellers and even the bigger electrical stores such as Currys and Comet.

More than 100 people came to make enquiries about how to register their personal items in Angel Place and the vulnerable vehicle scheme was also successful, with PCSOs finding between 80 to 100 potential targets of crime.

To read the source story in full please go to: Bridgewater Mercury