Tag Archives: Christmas

Crime free Christmas shopping checklist

christmas-shopping-london-600Christmas is an exciting and hectic time especially when it comes to shopping. Unfortunately, the festive season is also a time of increased crime particularly in busy shopping areas providing rich-pickings for pick pockets and other criminals!

Best practice whilst out shopping

  • Put cash and cards away safely (not in your back pocket) before leaving the till or cash machine. Try not to keep all your valuables in one place, especially your phone – Should your bag be lost/stolen at least you can still call for help!
  • Use debit or credit cards where possible in place of cash, only withdraw what you need so you avoid carrying large amounts.
  • Shield the keypad when typing your PIN when making payments or withdrawing cash. If you see anything suspicious alert the bank or call the police on 101.
  • 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 sight.
  • Keep an eye on your phone, be wary of leaving it behind at tills, coffee shops or dropping it. Make sure the IMEI is registered on Immobilise! Simply dial *#06# to get its unique number.
  • Avoid openly wearing expensive jewellery and watches in crowded/public places. Registering them with photographs and descriptions, plus details of any engraving will help identify them as yours.
  • Park vigilantly in an open, well-lit area. Visit parkmark.co.uk for details of approved carparks (Park Mark is a Police Crime Prevention Initiative).
  • If you must store presents in a car make sure they are out of view and that the car is securely locked. Receipts should be stored separately.
  • Be vigilant – As always please remain alert and report suspicious activity to the police on 999 if a crime is in progress, 101 in a non-emergency or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Continue reading Crime free Christmas shopping checklist

Christmas is a busy time…for thieves – 10 Crime prevention tips

Christmas brings the busiest shopping weeks of the year and for many retailers often accounts for 70% of their annual revenue. Stocking our homes with the latest electronic gadgets, jewellery and must-have accessories is commonplace, unfortunately though it provides thieves with an increased incentive to commit burglaries.

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10 crime prevention tips you shouldn’t ignore…

TIP 1: Deterring would-be criminals is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention. Invest in a motion sensor flood-light or even some outdoor Christmas lights to highlight your home’s exterior. This will hopefully make approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar. Also, highlighting the fact your possessions are security marked and registered on Immobilise using window decals provide a further warning that your goods are traceable and not worth the risk of stealing!

TIP 2: Festive lighting – be secure. A common mistake of many festive decorators is to feed extension cables through partially open windows, criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, opt for solar or battery operated lights or install outdoor electrical outlets.

TIP 3: Dispose of gift packaging carefully. Refuse collections over the Christmas and New Year period are normally at different times. If you can’t take packaging to a recycling point, make sure you only put your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to break apart boxes so that they do not advertise your new contents of your home to thieves!

TIP 4: Be careful not to advertise your home to burglars on social media! According to one recent study, social media is a commonly used tool for scouting potential targets. Social media savvy families have a tendency to publish their whereabouts during the holiday season, including any vacation plans. This can let burglars know when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem as if privacy settings aren’t tied down, it can allow burglars to go shopping just by viewing your Facebook profile.

TIP 5: Check doors and windows for weak spots. Government statistics show that 30% of burglaries happen through windows. Installing a few dead-bolts and new window hinges could increase the security of your home exponentially.

TIP 6: Keep your curtains, drapes and window blinds closed at night, making sure valuable items are out of sight. When going out for the evening make use of inexpensive timers to give the illusion of occupancy, you should also consider leaving a radio on or go further and invest in a Fake TV device to emulate the light given of by at television.

TIP 7: Away over Christmas – plan ahead! If you’re going away at Christmas be sure to cancel newspaper or milk subscriptions. Arrange for a neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is home. Don’t leave overly descriptive telephone answering machine messages and again make use of light timers, radios and devices like Fake TV’s.

TIP 8: Secure garages and sheds. Make sure that garden tools or ladders that could be used to force entry into your home are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment – make sure the garage is secure and your possessions are secured too in the case of bikes and tools. Naturally make sure anything portable / valuable is recorded on immobilise.

TIP 9: Don’t hide keys and use alarms if you have them. Burglars know to look for hidden door keys so don’t hide spare keys under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead give the spare key to family or trusted neighbour. Many houses these days have alarms, many though are rarely set, make sure yours is on and protecting your home when you are away and overnight where possible.

TIP 10: And lastly, don’t forget to register your gifts on Immobilise (www.immobilise.com)! Most gadgets have a unique identification code such as a serial number or for mobile phones an IMEI number – This IMEI number can be found quickly and easily by pressing the following keys on your mobile handset: *#06#. If your gift doesn’t have a unique identifier there are several affordable marking kits available from the Immobilise store allowing the police to easily identify the owners of items they recover and so detect crime.

We hope that you find these tips useful and encourage you to share them with your family, friends and colleagues. As always please remain vigilant and report suspicious activity immediately to the police on 999 if a crime is in progress, 101 in a non-emergency or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police advise residents to log their gifts

Northumbria Police NewsPolice are urging people to get their new gifts logged to keep them out of the hands of thieves.

The Northumberland Gazette has reported that Northumbria Police are advising residents to get new bikes, phones, electricals, tools and other valuables registered with free property logging website Immobilise.com

And those who received iPads, iPhones and other similar smartphones and tablets for Christmas are urged to activate built-in GPS systems and download apps which help locate stolen property.

The immediate crime prevention activity will mean if new property is stolen and later recovered it can be returned to the rightful owner, as well as potentially catching criminals in possession of stolen goods.

The advice is part of Operation Soundwave – a campaign aimed at cutting volume crime and tackling opportunist thieves – which is ongoing over the festive season.

Immobilise is the world’s largest register of property where members of the public can log their valuables – anything such as mobile phones, bikes, tools, electricals and gardening equipment. It’s free to register and takes just a few minutes to sign up.

Ownership details can be viewed by police across the country on the National Mobile Property Register (NMPR), which allows officers to check a recovered item and instantly find the owner.

Northumbria Police Superintendent Mick Paterson said:

Many people will have received devices such as iPhones, games consoles and laptops for Christmas and I’m sure crime prevention is not something which is at the forefront of people’s mind when they have just received gifts and are enjoying festivities.

But I’d like to remind people that it’s important to take a few moments to take a note of the serial number and register with immobilise where an image can be uploaded and the serial number recorded.

It means if it is stolen and recovered, it can be returned to the rightful owner as well as ensuring those found in possession of it can be dealt with, potentially preventing further crime.

The more people that register with immobilise, the easier it is to return stolen property and the more difficult it is for criminals to profit from their crimes.

Gadget-lovers are also being urged to make the most of tracking technology to stay one step ahead of thieves.

Supt Paterson added:

We of course would urge everyone to protect their property from thieves in the first place, such as making sure phones are secured in zip pockets or handbags, not leaving items lying around on pub or cafe tables and never leaving electronic items on show in a vehicle.

However, if such equipment is stolen, taking this simple step can make the difference between losing the item forever or having it tracked, located and seized by police.

Modern technology has its place alongside the more traditional police work and we’ll continue to combine all investigative techniques to cut crime across Northumbria and stop thieves in their tracks.

For more crime prevention information visit http://www.northumbria.police.uk/crimeprevention, while people are urged to sign up to free property register Immobilise at www.immobilise.com

It’s also vital residents report anything suspicious to police straight away so they can investigate. Police can be called on 101, or to report a crime ongoing dial 999.

Don’t let burglars ruin your Christmas

Avon & Somerset Police want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Christmas.

Chief Superintendent Jon Stratford who is in charge of burglary for Avon and Somerset Police said:

Over the Christmas period we’ll be working hard to keep you and your property safe. Please do your bit to help us.

After you’ve done your Christmas shopping, if you’ve bought any gadgets for your family and friends then make sure you log anything with a serial number on the national property database Immobilise. This will help us to return your property to you if it’s stolen and will make it harder for thieves to sell on.

I also can’t stress enough the importance or downloading and installing tracking software on your mobiles, tablets and laptops. We’ve had some great results recently where people have activated their tracking software as soon as their phone or tablet has been stolen. Not only did it allow us to catch the thief red-handed, it meant the victim got their property back quickly.

Whether you’re going away for Christmas or staying home to play with all your new toys, there are some simple tips you can follow to keep you and your family safe.

Your home is your castle

  • If you’re going away for Christmas, make sure your house looks occupied. It’s worth getting automatic time switches for lights and radios.
  • Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house whilst you’re away – they could park a car on your drive and collect any mail or free newspapers which might otherwise just sit in your porch.
  • Cancel deliveries of milk and newspapers discreetly – don’t announce your departure to a shop full of people. Only tell people who need to know you’re going away and don’t post your holiday dates on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Don’t have your home address showing on your luggage for the outward journey. Only put this on the inside of your cases.
  • Lock the garage and shed with proper security locks. Make sure your tools are locked away so they can’t be used to break into your house.
  • Remember to remove the keys from locked doors and windows and to keep them out of sight in a safe place.
  • Letter box restrictors can prevent thieves from accessing the lock from the outside.
  • Never leave valuables on display by windows or doors, especially those with cat flaps.
  • Keep presents out of sight and don’t leave packaging for new electrical goods on display outside your house – keep it out of sight until the recycling is collected.

Christmas shopping

  • Keep handbags, purses and wallets close to you and secure at all times.
  • Don’t leave bags hanging on the back of chairs in cafés and restaurants, under tables or in shopping trolleys.
  • We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, register all your gear on Immobilise!

Meet your neighbourhood team
Come to one of the local registration events going on across Avon and Somerset, where your local neighbourhood team can help you to register your property on Immobilise. You can also speak to them about any issues you might have and get general crime prevention advice to help keep you safe this winter. Visit the local pages of the Avon & Somerset Police website to get details of your nearest event.

To Protect it Register it is the Christmas message from Police in Lancashire

Immobilise Preston PosterIn the run up to Christmas, Preston Police are encouraging members of the public to register their new xbox games console or PS4 on the national property register via www.immobilse.com, as soon as they’ve purchased them.

Approximately 340 games consoles have been stolen as part of thefts, robberies and burglaries in the last 12 months, across the whole of Lancashire. Very few are recovered as victims are unable to distinguish their property with serial numbers or unique markers.

PCSO Stephen Connolly says:

People are starting their Christmas shopping and games such as xboxes and the new ps4 will be very popular. The consoles are highly desirable to thieves as they are lightweight, portable and easy to sell on. Registering the items on www.immobilise.com improves your chances of getting it back if it is lost or stolen.

www.immobilise.com can be used by members of the public and businesses to register their valued possessions or company assets and is used by all UK Police forces to trace owners of lost and stolen property.

Preston City Neighbourhood Teams are working with all city centre retailers stocking the consoles, who will be distributing literature upon purchase as well as displaying ‘To Protect It, Register It’ posters.

For more information and to view the source story please go to: http://www.lancashire.police.uk/news/to-protect-it-register-it

York residents invited to register valuables on national Immobilise database

PCSOs Rachel Shaw and Tony Barge show Tracey Simpson-Laing how they use the new scanning equipment. (Source: York Press)

The York Press has reported that residents worried about their property being stolen are being invited to register their items on the Immobilise National Property Register to make it easier to return stolen goods to their owners.

City of York Council is urging people to register their property free of charge using new technology invested in by North Yorkshire Police and the Safer York Partnership during the week-long national campaign. The authority teamed up with police to provide £36,000 to fund the Hermes and Apollo kits.

Hermes allows the police and other organisations to upload details of property by recording identifying features, size or serial numbers, which can be retrieved from the Immobilise National Property Register that the police are able to access securely via the PNC and numerous other interfaces.

Apollo is a hand-held scanner which the police and PCSOs can use to scan an item, store its data on the National Mobile Property Register and retrieve the information when suspected stolen goods come to light.

The eleven sessions for the public are being held so people can either have small items such as smartphones or laptops registered, or can bring details – including photographs – of valuable furniture or serial numbers of bikes, for example.

Coun Linsay Cunningham-Cross, cabinet member for crime, said:

Safer York Partnership is keen to use innovative technology to deliver more effective and efficient responses to tackling crime.

By taking a few minutes to register their property on Hermes and Apollo and pick up security advice, residents can not only help prevent their belongings being stolen in the first place, but can be assured that if something is stolen, they are more likely to get it back.

Supt Phil Cain said:

Often the police recover items during searches or by other means, and it’s not always clear if those goods are stolen.

By using the Immobilise register, they can find out instantly. This not only saves officer time, but helps progress investigations and means the rightful owner gets their belongings back.

The sessions will take place at the council’s West Offices, in Station Rise, on the 19th and 20th November, between 9am and 3pm.

There are also sessions at York Explore library, in Library Square, on Friday 21st from 1pm to 5pm, and on Sunday 23rd from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

There will also be sessions at York University Library from today until Friday, 9am to 3pm, or at York Art Gallery, on Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 3pm.

To view the source article please go to: http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/

Gazelle – Leading USA consumer electronics reseller deploys CheckMEND to help identify fraud

Gazelle, one of the USA’s leading high-end consumer trade-in sites, today announced it has deployed CheckMEND, a cutting-edge tool, designed to more accurately detect potentially stolen goods, including smart phones, tablets and computers.

Developed by Recipero, CheckMEND is the largest World’s largest consumer electronics background report service, the system compiles data from all major wireless carriers and law enforcement entities across the USA, providing the most complete database of devices available. Gazelle is the first consumer electronics trade-in site to deploy CheckMEND and collaborated with Recipero to tailor the product to help address the growing incidences of consumer electronics theft.

For Gazelle the introduction of CheckMEND comes at a good time with the proliferation of high-end consumer electronics theft. In fact, New York City’s police commissioner recently reported that Apple products now represent more than 40 percent of stolen property in the city and San Francisco police report that nearly half of all robberies in the city in the past year have been cell phone related.

We are dedicated to providing the best customer experience possible, and part of that promise is to protect each customer’s personal data

said Israel Ganot, CEO, Gazelle.

We always take security very seriously. With the CheckMEND deployment, we’re taking this to a new level, committing not only to the protection of a customer’s personal data when we receive the device, but also going the extra mile to ensure that any devices we accept are being sold by the rightful owner and to discourage and prevent theft of consumer electronics.

Recipero’s CheckMEND service makes it possible to do a more thorough screening by checking a vast set of carrier and law enforcement sources for a much broader set of consumer electronics. CheckMEND is capable of comparing each inquiry against more than 150 billion records of information, including more than 50 billion items.

For more information please visit the following websites.

Visit Gazelle: www.gazelle.com

Visit CheckMEND: www.checkmend.com

Visit Recipero: www.recipero.com

 

Lincolnshire Police say: If You Love It, Log It!

As Christmas approaches, Lincolnshire Police are urging people to log their expensive gifts and precious belongings on Immobilise.com, the world’s largest free register of ownership details.

Any item can be registered on Immobilise from small pieces of jewellery to plasma screen TVs and it is especially popular with people wishing to register mobile phones and bicycles.  The system records serial numbers and also allows the user to upload a photo and description.

The database is linked directly to police systems, enabling officers to trace the owners of recovered property and to also identify the item as being stolen if found in the possession of a suspected thief.  This ability to link suspects to a crime via the database means that Immobilise acts as a major deterrent to criminals.

Detective Sergeant Richard Myszczyszyn, from Skegness CID, said:

Burglars and thieves know that there will be rich pickings to be had in the post Christmas period and the use of the Immobilise database is a valuable addition to your crime prevention precautions. You can register as many items as you like, and then if they are lost or stolen you simply log back on to register them as such. The police can check any property they recover, whether that be from raids, routine checks on second-hand dealers or items brought into custody and, if they find anything that is listed as stolen, not only will you get your belongings back, but the thieves can be brought to justice.

DS Myszczyszyn ended by saying:

We want to send a clear message to those potential thieves that anything logged on Immobilise is too hot to handle. By registering your property and marking it as such, Lincolnshire residents can take steps to ensure they are much less likely to become a victim of crime.

To read the source article please go to www.lincs.police.uk

 

 

If you love it, log it! South Yorkshire police promote immobilise

South Yorkshire Police are advising people: ‘If you love it, log it’.

In a countywide crackdown on theft and burglary, police are urging people to log their expensive Christmas presents and any other precious belongings on immobilise.com – the world’s largest FREE register of ownership details.

In a time when police resources are getting ever more stretched, the police are looking to focus their efforts on crime prevention, with this campaign aimed at preventing thefts happening in the first place – a more efficient way of protecting the public.

And in addition to acting as a major deterrent to criminals, the big difference with Immobilise is that as well as getting your stuff back if it’s lost or stolen, the system helps to catch the thieves as well!

The database is linked directly to police systems, so when officers recover any property, for whatever reason, they can check it against items logged on Immobilise. For example, if someone arrested on suspicion of drunk and disorderly has your stolen mobile phone in their pocket, police will also be able to link the theft to them as well – but only if it’s registered!

Any item can be registered on immobilise. The easiest items to log are electricals, or anything that has a serial number, but you can even log jewellery or ornamental items using the photo upload and description functions. You can register as many items as you like, and then if they are lost or stolen you simply log back on to register them as such. The police can check any property they recover, whether that’s when a person is brought into custody for any reason, property recovered from criminals in raids, or even during one of their now routine checks on second-hand dealers. And if they find anything that is listed as stolen, not only will you get your belongings back, but the thieves can be brought to justice.

Chief Superintendent Bill Hotchkiss said:

Part of policing involves stopping crime happening in the first place. The public can play a huge part in this by protecting their property with Immobilise, making items easier to identify and less attractive to thieves.

We want to send a clear message to those potential thieves that anything logged on Immobilise is too hot to handle. As a member of the South Yorkshire public, by registering your property, and marking it as such, you are much less likely to become a victim of crime.

To support the campaign, police are distributing packs to the public to make the process even easier. These include a selection of stickers to mark all your items as logged, so as to deter criminals, and an information leaflet to explain the process. The packs are available from your local police stations in South Yorkshire or from South Yorkshire branches of Curries, Dixons and PC World. In addition, safer neighbourhood team officers will be out and about in public places offering packs and advice to members of the public.

Visit www.immobilise.com to get started.

More details can be found at www.southyorks.police.uk

Avon & Somerset Police launch unusual crime awareness campaign

Avon & Somerset Police have launched an unusual crime awareness & immobilise registration campaign for Christmas. Reported by the Bristol Evening Post, shoppers can learn how to stay safe this Christmas with the help of a mocked up crime scene.

Avon and Somerset Police have transformed an empty shop unit in The Mall Bristol, Broadmead, into a rather unusual information centre.

Experts from Bike UK, the Safer Bristol Partnership and the police will be on hand to advise members of the public on all safety issues, from bike locks and seasonal burglary to late night transport and drink and drug awareness.

One of two large window displays will contain a crime scene for members of the public to investigate. The other will be have a bike security theme. Police will be urging shoppers to register presents like laptops and bikes on the national property database, Immobilise.

The database is used by police to trace the owners of suspected stolen property.

If the items are ever stolen the account holder logs on and marks them as stolen. They will then be flagged up on the national database as stolen when checked by retailers or police forces.

There will also be the chance to win a Saracen mountain bike, free T-Shirt printing with the police’s Streetwise team after school on December 9 and 16, and balloons to fingerprint and take home.

PCSO Warren Vincent-Rodgers from the Broadmead and Cabot Circus police team came up with the idea for the shop.

He said:

We tested the shop in The Mall last year with great success, speaking to more than 1,000 Bristol residents about all sorts of security and safety issues.

You can’t really have a more striking window display than a crime scene, and with so many TV programmes getting children and adults interested in this area of work, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see at first hand the techniques CSIs use to find clues and help solve cases.

Everyone is invited to note down their theory of what happened and will be entered into a prize draw.

It should make a welcome distraction from Christmas shopping.

The shop will open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm, on Thursdays until 7pm, and on Saturdays until 3pm. For more on immobilise go to www.immobilise.com.

To read the source article please go to: www.thisisbristol.co.uk