Don’t let Christmas be merry for thieves

It has been reported in the Maidenhead Advertiser that A campaign has been launched by Maidenhead’s PCSOs in a bid to fight burglary and car crime over Christmas.

PCSO Andrew Hitchcock, leading the campaign with colleagues PCSO Amy Shah and PCSO Steph Lewis, said: “We cannot emphasise enough the importance of removing valuables from your car and securing your property when you are not in or away on holiday.”

“Many thieves are opportunist and will try and steal any items they see on display or break into a house they think is insecure. However, by taking a few simple precautions you could be avoiding becoming a victim. Remember that offenders are trying to fund their own Christmas, so don’t make it easy for them.”

Home security tips:

  • Trim overgrown trees and hedges that might obscure lighting or hide a burglar from your neighbours or passers by.
  • If you are going to be out all day, set indoor lamps on timer switches to come on at dusk to give the impression that someone is at home.
  • Consider joining or starting up a neighbourhood watch scheme in your road (contact your local Neighbourhood Watch office via 0845 8 505 505 for more details).
  • ‘Postcode’ your electrical goods, such as DVD players and computers, with an ultra violet pen or permanent marker, and make an inventory of these items including brand names and serial numbers.
  • You can also register all mobile equipment such as cameras and iPods on the national database, The police have access to this database, allowing stolen items to be returned to their owners.
  • Ensure all your external windows and locks are secure, and fit additional locks where necessary.
  • Consider installing motion sensor lighting outside external doors.

To read the source story in full go to: The Maidenhead Advertiser

If you love it – register it

Greater Manchester Police is warning residents to register and property mark valuable gifts they get this Christmas so they can be returned if lost or stolen.They are advising people that:

Flat screen TVs, MP3 players, Sat Navs, laptops and mobile phones all feature heavily on letters to Santa this Christmas. Unfortunately they are also top of the most wanted lists of burglars, robbers and thieves.

By registering their valuables on owners can put details of their prized possessions on a national database that police can access and compare against items that have been found or recovered from suspected criminals.

The on-line service is totally free and is quick and easy to use. Items marked as being registered with Immobilise are less likely to be stolen, and households displaying Immobilise stickers are less likely to be targeted by burglars.

Almost any item with a serial number recovered by police can be returned to the owner if registered on the database. Users can also add photographs and certificates of ownership to their Immobilise account. Once registered users can update their account with details of new possessions, and take off items they no longer own.

A few minutes on-line can decrease the chances of your most precious possessions being stolen and increase the chances of you getting them back if they are.

To read the source press release go to: Greater Manchester Police

Be alert to home security in Chester this New Year

Chester Police wants all residents to make sure that thieves do not have a happy New Year. Peter Lawless of the Proactive Policing Team said that:

For burglars New Year’s Eve isn’t a holiday, it’s the perfect time to carry out crime.

Many houses are obviously empty and people are often too busy celebrating to consider they could be potential victims of criminal activity.

By taking some of the steps detailed suggested by the Chester Chronical and below you can reduce the risk of becoming a target for thieves this festive season:

  • Plan your night out, including how to get home safely.
  • At home, always use window and door locks.
  • Don’t leave sets of car keys on display either inside or outside in garage and shed doors.
  • Use timer switches on lights and leave a radio playing to give the impression there is someone at home.
  • Wherever you are, make sure any valuable belongings you have are property marked with your house number and postcode either using UV markers or etching tools. Marking products such as Smart Water are also valuable. Visit and register your valuables securely on line – if stolen this will assist the police to identify and return items to you.

Inspector Lawless added:

If you do notice anyone acting suspiciously report it to Cheshire Police. Support us working over Christmas and New Year by helping us to make the festive season safer for all.

To read the source article please go to: The Chester Chronical

Mark it, lock up and don’t lose it this Christmas

Police in North Somerset are asking young people to help change their families’ security habits.

Neighbourhood Teams are going into schools to promote property marking and the ‘Immobilise’ property database.

Chief Inspector Nick Walker said:

We know thieves are deterred from stealing items which have been marked with a post code because they know that if they are caught with it we will be able to prove it has been stolen.

Marking your property or registering it on also means that if your belongings are stolen and recovered by police we can return them to you.

The school visits are part of the district’s Relentless operation on Tuesday December 16 2008, getting out into the community and working with partners to tackle the issues that affect local people.

Officers will also be promoting the property-marking message in high streets across the district, with the constabulary’s Mounted Section on patrol in Weston-super-Mare selling the message too.

CI Walker said:

Your police are working hard to tackle burglars and thieves, but there are some simple steps people can take to deter criminals and help police catch and convict them.

The message is mark it, lock up and don’t lose it this Christmas!

We’re working hard to make North Somerset an even safer place to live, work and visit, but people should play their part and take some simple steps to keep themselves and their property safe.

To read the full press release please go to: Avon and Somerset Police

Police crackdown on Christmas burglaries

The local News Paper Leigh Today has reported that Police are launching a crackdown on burglaries this Christmas:

As part of Operation Guardian, police in the borough are issuing a festive message to make sure people giving gifts don’t hand one to a thief this Christmas.
Officers are warning that the traditional Christmas scene, with a pile of presents under a tree, is a gift of an opportunity for a burglar.

The number of house break-ins rises significantly during the Christmas period as presents tempt burglars in to people’s homes.
Once inside, they take anything they can easily find, including credit cards, cheque books, bags and car keys.
Crime reduction advisor for Wigan division, Wendy O’Neil, said: “Everyone should have a happy and secure Christmas, so I would like to remind people of simple steps to ensure they keep their property safe.
“The sad fact is that more than one in three of all domestic burglaries in the Wigan Borough happen because people do not lock their doors and shut their windows meaning the opportunist thief does not even have to use force to gain access.
“Even if you are in the house you should still lock external doors, and keep windows shut. If the room is stacked full of presents, close the curtains and help to make sure your hard-earned gifts don’t end up in someone else’s hands.”

Police are also urging residents to register their valuables free-of-charge at
The online database allows officers to search for lost or stolen items of identifiable property and is the world’s largest free register of ownership details.
Almost any item with a serial number recovered by police can be returned to the owner if it is registered on the database. Users can also add photographs and certificates of ownership to their Immobilise account.

Ms O’Neil added: “Many items we recover from criminals are not given back to their owners, as without some proof of ownership we do not know who they belong to.
“Spending five minutes registering details of your Christmas gifts and other valued possessions for free on means that their details are instantly available to us and all other forces across the country.”

To read the orginal article please go to: Leigh Today

Norwich Police Promote Immobilise

Police in Norwich are promoting the Immobilise National Property register to help them address the issue of victims of theft not being able to accurately describe what has been stolen. They hope the scheme will help catch thieves and reunite owners of stolen property with their personal possessions.

Between September 1 to December 1, 246 pedal cycles were reported stolen in the city along with 162 mobile phones as well as other equipment like Sat Navs and iPods.

Inspector Michelle Lillie, from the University and Eaton Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), said: “We find that the main problem is when people report items as stolen they have very little details about what the property is.”

The website, allows people to upload pictures and detail information about personal property in case it is stolen.

Police then link into it when they recover stolen goods.

Insp Lillie added: “Police do recover property however because of the limited description of lost or stolen property it is difficult to match it to a previous owner making the job of proving an offence that little bit more difficult.”

“We are urging the public to help by keeping a record of all personal equipment with a serial or identifiable number and use the Immobilise registration service.”

Serial numbers are needed for goods and to register your mobile phone, you need to know your 15 digit IMEI handset number which can be found by keying in *#06# on the keypad or on a sticker underneath the battery.

For further information contact the University and Eaton SNT on 0845 456 4567 or go to

To read the original story go to: Norwich Evening News

Don’t gift wrap Christmas for criminals

“Don’t make it is easy for thieves this Christmas” is the message being given out by Dyfed Powys Police in the run up to the festive season.

Don’t gift wrap Christmas for criminals this year – they are your presents, protect them.

At this time of year people go shopping and sometimes leave what they have bought in full view on the back seats of their car while it is parked in a car park. Or they put wrapped presents underneath Christmas tree’s in their homes in full view of people walking past in the street, said Assistant Chief Constable Nick Ingram.

These are easy targets for thieves. They know that there are likely to be high value goods in the bags or all wrapped up – don’t make it easy for them.

Dyfed Powys is a safe area to live, but it is important not to get complacent.

Also it is important to remember to register your valuables. A few years ago we encouraged people to post mark their property. This is the twenty first century equivalent. You can go online to and register your valuables.

If the worst happens and you are burgled, and the police recover stolen items they will search the immobilise database and return the goods to the rightful owners.

To read this article in full please go to: The Tivyside Advertiser

Youngsters urged to register new mobile phones to avoid theft

Middlesbrough Police, in conjunction with the Safer Middlesbrough Partnership and Safe in Tees Valley, are publicising a pre-Christmas message to ensure that any new mobile phone is registered is registered on the Immobilise Property system.

It is recommending that any youngsters who receive a mobile phone for Christmas take the proactive step of registering the phones details on Immobilise.

Detective Chief Inspector Shane Sellers, of Middlesbrough Police, said:

Last year 835 mobile phones were reported stolen in the district.

Registering mobile phones on the website should have an impact in reducing this figure, particularly where phones have been stolen, as the phone can very quickly be blocked on the UK network, rendering it useless to the thief.

Please note that in addition to updating your phones’ status on Immobilise (which makes the details available for police searches in realtime), any person who has lost their phone or had it stolen should contact their network provider asap to have it blocked. For details of relevant Network numbers please go to: Reporting your phone as stolen in the UK

To read the original article go to:

Trafford Residents are urged by Police to register on Immobilise

The crime reduction advisor for Trafford is urging residents across Trafford to make their valuable less attractive to theives this Christmas by registering them on Immobilise.

PC Tony Crompton has said about the Immobilise Property Register:

Many items we recover from criminals are not given back to their owners as, without some proof of ownership, we do not know who they belong to.

Spending five minutes registering details of your Christmas gifts and other valued possessions for free on means that their details are instantly available to us and all other forces across the country.

If an item is stolen you can update your record to tell us, so if we or any other force find your MP3 player, watch or bike, we have proof it belongs to you.

To read the source article in full please go to:

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 ( 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