1. Before you go, protect your belongings by registering them on Immobilise.com, improving your chances of getting them back if they’re lost or stolen.
2. Leave unnecessary valuables at home where possible. Some people even buy a cheap phone to take to festivals, leaving their more expensive handset safely back at home.
3. Keep your wits about you, especially when you’re in a crowd. Consider using a bumbag or money belt, instead of using a rucksack or keeping valuables in your pockets. If you do use a rucksack, wear it around your front in crowds.
4. Never leave valuable items in your tent when you’re not there. It’s worth checking whether there are secure lockers available to use instead. When you’re sleeping, keep valuables at the bottom of your sleeping bag.
5. Check in advance whether traders will take card payments or whether the festival you’re going to is running a cashless scheme, where you can load your wristband with credit beforehand. This way, you’ll avoid the need to carry cash.
It’s true, there is safety in numbers. When neighbours pull together, the whole community becomes stronger. Every step you can take to protect your home, will also be a step in helping to protect your community. Don’t let your road become Easy Street!
Numbers matter. The number of people volunteering within a community, the number of police officers tackling crime, the number of people willing to do the right thing.
Another type of number matters too; serial numbers. They are the easiest possible way to identify an item. When police recover lost or potentially stolen items, they can enter the serial number – or any other unique identifier, for that matter – into a national database called the NMPR, to try to track down the rightful owner.
Did you know it’s completely free to add your valuables to this database? It’s quick and easy; you create an account on the Immobilise.com website and add the details of your items. Immobilise is the world’s biggest FREE ownership register, with over 35 million items already registered. If your valuable doesn’t already have a serial number or other unique identifier, you can add one by using a marking product such as a UV pen or asset label.
Registering your items doesn’t just safeguard your property and improve your chances of being reunited with them if they go missing. There are several other fantastic benefits; not just for you, but for your wider community as well:
Immobilise gives police the evidence they need to prosecute thieves; for example, when they find them in possession of valuables that aren’t registered to them.
It also stops criminals from benefiting financially from theft, by alerting stolen goods database CheckMEND if a registered item goes missing.
If you go one step further and advertise your registration efforts through window stickers or labels on items, it will help to make your home (and by extension, your neighbourhood) look like a dangerous target for criminals. Thieves and burglars are looking for an easy life – and unmarked, untraceable goods to steal and sell.
By registering your valuable items and being part of a community committed to crime prevention, you can increase the chances of recovering stolen goods and deterring criminals. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action – start protecting your property today, by registering it on immobilise.com
Founded in 2003, it’s been 20 years since the launch of Immobilise – and it’s now the world’s largest free register of possession ownership details! Over 25 million users worldwide have registered over 35 million items of property in that time.
By logging your possessions, you can increase your chances of them being returned to you if they are recovered. With close links to police and other law enforcement agencies, officers will routinely check the database to try to match recovered lost or stolen items with their rightful owners. Any updates you make – such as flagging an item as lost or stolen – are immediately available to police nationally and keeping a detailed log of your valuables can help to simplify insurance claims and police reports.
The Immobilise register is also linked with CheckMEND, the second-hand stolen property database, which can help detect stolen items and prevent them from being traded.
Marking the 20th anniversary, Les Gray, one of the founders of Immobilise, took a moment to reflect on the platform’s success.
“When we first launched Immobilise, we knew its potential. To watch it flourish over the years and become the critical tool against crime that we knew it could be, has been really quite special,” Les commented.
“We’ve achieved a lot in the past 20 years, but there’s still so much more we can do. We’re excited about the future of Immobilise and the role it can play in making our communities safer.”
Any item with a unique identifier can be registered on Immobilise – from mobile phones and laptops to bikes, jewellery and musical instruments. If your item doesn’t have a serial number, or anything else that might help to identify it, using a marking product like a UV pen or asset label could prove useful. Adding a touch of uniqueness will help to match the item back to you as the owner. A number of marking products are sold through the Immobilise online shop, but the system will accept any identifiers, from any third party.
Visibly marking items as being registered – through labels or window stickers for your home, for example – can even help to deter thieves.
We are thrilled to announce that Recipero is expanding its services to Australia with the launch of Immobilise.au – the free online property register.
All Australians can now join our extensive worldwide community, securely registering valuables such as phones, electronics, bikes, jewellery, and more.
Immobilise.au is FREE to use and is just one part of the Recipero crime reduction ecosystem. It offers a user-friendly, intuitive platform that allows you to build up a secure inventory of all of your treasured possessions. You can then notify Immobilise if your valuables are lost or stolen and download keepership certificates to help prove ownership when making insurance claims or police reports.
If your valuables are recovered after being lost or stolen, there is a far greater chance of them being returned to you.
Visit www.immobilise.au now and join the millions of people around the world who have already registered their valued items for free.
Internet safety can feel like quite an overwhelming topic at times, with an ever-changing landscape of technology and a growing number of scams and threats to avoid.
There are a number of simple and straightforward steps you can take to keep yourself safe online. Below, we’ve listed 5 things you can do right now, to start you off on the right path. Best of all, they’re all completely free.
The ‘have I been pwned?’ website is a simple and free resource that will tell you if you have been put at risk due to online accounts being compromised (“pwned”) in a data breach.
Enter your email address and it will tell you which data breaches your account was involved in and offer suggestions on what to do next. You can also subscribe to updates so you can be notified of any further breaches and quickly change your password on the affected account.
2. Set up 2-factor authentication
Even if you have strong passwords, you should turn on 2-step verification where possible – particularly important for accounts such as email, banking and online shopping, all of which store sensitive personal information.
By setting up 2-step (also known as 2-factor) authentication, you will need to enter a code, or use fingerprint or face scan technology, to prove that it’s really you. It only takes a few minutes to set up and will make you much safer online.
3. Track your devices
Setting up ‘Find My’ tracking for your Apple or Android device will allow you to locate it if it’s ever misplaced. In the worst-case scenario where the item lands into the wrong hands, you can also erase your Apple device remotely, limiting the amount of damage done.
4. Tighten your online social circles
How well do you really know Linda? The woman you met on holiday in 2015 and haven’t spoken to since? Now might be a good time to go through your social contacts and make everything a little more ‘slimline’.
Keep your accounts private where possible, think carefully about what you post and don’t share your holiday photos from the sun lounger. Wait until you’re back, so as not to advertise your empty home.
5. Register your portable tech
Immobilise is the world’s largest FREE register of possession ownership details. It can be used by members of the public and businesses to register valued possessions or company assets. Ownership details are then viewable on the police national property database, available to 40,000+ police officers up and down the country, when they are looking to reunite recovered items with their rightful owners.
Updates are immediately available to the police nationally and you can easily manage your account online, adding or removing items or flagging them as lost or stolen. It can help to simplify claims and police reports with certificates of ownership and could even stop the sale of stolen valuables by alerting sister database CheckMEND if an item goes missing.
All you need to register your tech is the make, model and any unique identifier, such as a serial number.
Whilst most see the festive period as a time for goodwill to all men, unfortunately – as anyone who has watched ‘Home Alone’ will know – thieves don’t take annual leave. In fact, long winter nights, festive distractions and busier social calendars can offer burglars more opportunities than any other time of year.
Luckily, there are lots of precautions you can take, without going to the same lengths as Kevin McCallister.
1. Light up your entrances
Twinkling fairy lights don’t need to be just for decoration! Any form of outdoor lighting – from a motion sensor security light to dressed-up evergreens – can help protect your home by lighting up the exterior and removing the cover of darkness that thieves love. It makes approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar.
However, many enthusiastic festive house dressers’ common mistake is feeding extension cables through partially open windows; criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, if you don’t have an external plug outlet, opt for solar or battery-operated lights instead.
2.Be strategic with your recycling
Bin collections over the Christmas and New Year period are normally at different times. If you can’t take packaging to a recycling centre, make sure you only put your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to fold boxes inside-out so that they don’t advertise any new contents of your home to thieves.
3.Don’t advertise your plans
For thieves, social media can be used to scout potential targets. If you usually publish your whereabouts during the holiday season – including any plans to be away from home – do think twice before posting this year, as you could be giving a potential burglar knowledge of when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem. It’s always worth double-checking your privacy settings on social channels and, where possible, keeping your profile private.
4.Check doors and windows for weak spots
The Office for National Statistics reported in 2020 that windows were used to gain access in 30% of burglaries, so installing a few deadbolts and new window hinges could increase the security of your home. 1 in 7 burglars also walked straight through an unlocked door; where possible, it’s worth keeping your doors locked even when you’re at home.
5.Keep your curtains and blinds closed at night
If you’re going out for the evening, you could use a plug timer on your lights to give the illusion of someone being at home or go one step further and invest in a Fake TV device.
You should also always ensure valuable items are out of sight.
6.Deterring would-be criminals is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention
Using window stickers to highlight the fact that your possessions are security marked and registered on Immobilise is a savvy move. It warns thieves that your goods are traceable and not worth the risk of stealing. If you have a security camera, a dog or are a member of a Neighbourhood Watch area, these are also good things to advertise to any unwelcome visitors!
7.Away over Christmas? Plan ahead!
Be sure to cancel any deliveries. Arrange for a trusted neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is at home. As mentioned above, make use of light timers and devices like Fake TVs.
8.Secure garages and sheds
Make sure that garden tools or ladders are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed; they could be used to force entry into your home. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment – if you have a garage, make sure it is locked and items such as bikes or tools are secured. Make sure that anything portable or valuable is recorded on Immobilise.
9.Don’t hide keys, and use alarms if you have them
Burglars know all of the best hiding places for spare keys, so don’t put them under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead, give the spare key to family or a trusted neighbour. Many houses now have alarms; make sure yours is on and protecting your home when you are away or out for the evening, where possible.
10.And lastly, don’t forget to protect your gifts on Immobilise.com!
Most electricals have a unique code, such as a serial number which can be used to register the item. Mobile phones have an IMEI number, which can be easily found by dialling *#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.
During the lockdowns of the Covid-19 pandemic, you may have seen more of your neighbours (from a safe distance of course!) than you did your own family. Clapping from your doorsteps and soaking in the view of another real-life human.
As time charges on and ‘normal’ daily life resumes, it’s important not to lose those neighbourly connections. Having a strong, close community gives us a sense of belonging. Everyone can also benefit from the added security that comes from living in a close community.
Letting your trusted neighbour(s) know when you’re away.
Leave a spare key with them so that they can check on the property and take in any post or deliveries. They may also be able to park their car on your drive while you’re away.
Set up a community Facebook page or WhatsApp group.
They’re great for sharing information about suspicious or anti-social behaviour, with the added benefit of getting to know your neighbours better.
Suspicious behaviour to watch out for might include:
Strange vehicles parked up for a lengthy period, returning regularly or travelling slowly up and down your road
Strangers lingering in the neighbourhood
Unknown markings on or near properties; they could be coded markings that burglars use to communicate with each other.
Window stickers and signage warning that your property is protected by CCTV, an alarm system, or even a dog, can help to deter thieves. You could also put up stickers or signs to show that you have marked and registered your belongings, making them more difficult to sell on and therefore less attractive to thieves.
You can mark your valuables by adding your postcode, phone number or any other number that’s meaningful to you. Various marking and labelling methods are available, but any mark will help. Keep a record of your belongings, making a note of any serial numbers or unique marks. Take photographs and consider sending them to a friend or relative so there is another copy, or record your items securely on the Immobilise National Property Register. Such registration not only helps Police return your property but may also prevent criminals from easily selling it.
You could club together with your neighbours to buy signage or share a property marking kit to help protect your belongings. If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours who aren’t able to register their own items, you could help them to do it.
Join the local Neighbourhood Watch.
You can search the Neighbourhood Watch website to locate your nearest group, or start your own. Becoming a member gives you access to a whole host of crime prevention tips, ready-made campaigns and toolkits.
Do your bit.
The most important thing you can do is look out for one another. If you have elderly or vulnerable neighbours, those chats over the hedge, or offers of help – however small – become even more important. Discuss security measures with your neighbours and if someone isn’t able to organise signage or fit a security light, offer to do it for them.
1. Lock all of your doors, not just the front! Including (if applicable) your garage door, side gate and shed, all of which can sometimes be overlooked.
2. Ensure all of your windows are secure. Be aware that some windows have winter and summer settings; the summer setting can be more vulnerable to tools such as crowbars. You can check for yourself by placing a piece of paper behind the seal, closing the window and pulling at the paper. If it’s difficult to remove and perhaps tears, the window is in winter mode. If it slides out gently, it’s in summer mode. There should be a screw mechanism on the side of the window that you can use an Allen key to adjust.
3. If you have a CCTV system or house alarm, test them to ensure they’re working properly. These are a great deterrent and could play a significant part in catching out any thieves. False alarms and cameras can also be bought to make burglars think twice.
4. Use automatic timers on lights, or other technology such as our TV Sim to make the house seem more lived-in from outside.
5. Ask trusted neighbours to check in or help out, collecting post or parking their car on the driveway every so often. If they’re very kind, they might also water your garden for you!
6. Don’t hide your spare key under your mat; use a key safe.
7. Ensure valuables are out of view from the windows.
8. Register your valuables on Immobilise – it helps police to identify the owners of recovered property, increasing your chances of your belongings being returned to you. It also simplifies insurance claims and police reports, with certificates of ownership available via your account.
9. Cancel all of your regular deliveries.
10. Don’t advertise your holiday on social media, as tempting as it may be!
Tourists can be a lucrative target for criminals, particularly in the case of theft. When travelling, you’re more likely to be distracted by your new and unfamiliar environment and carry a lot of valuable personal belongings and possibly cash.
We’ve listed our top 5 items that you should register on immobilise.com before setting off on holiday. It only takes a minute, it’s completely free of charge, and it increases the chance of your items being returned to you if they’re lost or stolen. Having a certificate of registration also helps to prove you are the owner of the item, and it can help simplify any insurance claim you might need to make.
1. Mobile Phone
The only thing you need to hand to register your mobile phone is the IMEI number. You can find this by dialling *#06#. You can add any other unique identifiers you might have, but this is the best one to use. Easy peasy!
2. Camera / GoPro
You often find that these have a serial number; it might be found on the item’s packaging or in its manual or documentation. If you can’t find one though, don’t worry. You can use any unique identifier to register an item – you could use a UV pen, or a product marking kit, or you can order asset labels from the Immobilise online shop. These have the added benefit of being a visible deterrent to thieves, and giving honest members of the public a way of reporting your item as found, should you lose it. There are no personal details on the asset labels, but it will ensure we can get your item back to you.
3. Tablets, Headphones & Handheld Games Consoles
Just like cameras and GoPros, any type of tech can easily be registered with a unique identifier. You’ll either be able to find a serial code or add an identifier yourself using a UV pen, asset label or product marking kit. You can buy all of these solutions from the Immobilise shop or use any third-party product to mark your belongings.
Another thing to consider with your tablet is whether there’s in-built tracking you can set up and use, such as the ‘Find My’ app offered by Apple and Android.
To give your keys a better chance of finding their way back to you if you misplace them, we’ve created the ImmobiKey. The fob gives your keys a unique identifier (enabling them to be registered on the Immobilise database) and provides instructions to both the police and the public on what to do, should your keys be found.
5. Watches & Jewellery
Some watches will have a serial number, so it’s worth checking for one on the piece itself and any accompanying paperwork. Alternatively, an engraving on a watch or piece of jewellery makes for a perfect identifier to register it with, as long as it’s unique. Any other third-party product marks can be used otherwise. Immobilise also gives you the option to upload photos, receipts and certifications when you register your items.