Tag Archives: Crime Prevention

10 Tips to Keep Your Home Secure While You’re Away

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!

Top 5 Holiday Items to Register on Immobilise

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!

Top Tip: Add your phone’s serial number as another identifier. This can easily be found in the phone’s settings or on the packaging.

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.

4. Keys

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.

View our helpful step by step guides on how to register the following items:
Mobile Phone
Keys
Watches
Laptops/Tablets/Computers

To log in and register an item or create a FREE account, please visit:
www.immobilise.com

5 Items to Register in Your Shed/Garage

Immobilise isn’t just for mobile phones and gadgets – anything with a unique identifier can be registered (for free!) on the Immobilise database.

The items hidden away in your garage or shed often get overlooked, but you can protect them too, taking steps to make it easier for you to be reunited in the worst-case scenario of your belongings being stolen.

If you label your items, it could even act as a deterrent to thieves, as it makes them harder to sell on and less desirable.

#1 Bikes

Claims for bike thefts between January and April this year were up by 126% compared to the same period in 2021

– Urban Jungle

You can register your bike with the frame serial number, an RFID tag (ImmobiBike or ImmobiTag), coded microdot, forensic liquid, chemical etching or any other third party product marks you can find.

#2 Power Tools

42% of outbuilding thefts resulted in tools being stolen

– Confused.com, 2021

Power tools are likely to be targeted by thieves. They can be registered with the serial number, an asset label, UV pen marking, forensic liquid, coded microdot, or any other third party product marks you can find.

#3 Lawnmowers

Thefts from gardens shoot up by over 25% when the clocks go forward

– Aviva Claims Statistics, 2002 – 2011

If your lawnmower or strimmer doesn’t already have a unique identifier such as a serial number, you can use an Immobilise marking kit – or any third party property marking tool – to give it an identifier and then register it for free on Immobilise.

#4 Leisure Equipment

Golf club theft is estimated at £10 million every year

– The Professional Golfers Club Association (PGA)

The demand for home gym and leisure equipment has gone through the roof over the last couple of years.  People are keeping tents, skis, snowboards, kayaks, skateboards, paddleboards and golf clubs (etc, etc!) in sheds and garages.

Anything with a unique identifier can be registered on Immobilise and if your item doesn’t already have an identifier, you can use a property marking kit.

#5 Outdoor Furniture

The outdoor furniture market in the UK amounts to £1.26 billion this year

– Statista.com

If you’re protecting your outdoor furniture from the elements by keeping it in the shed, you can also try to protect it from theft. If your furniture doesn’t have a unique identifier such as a serial number, you can use an Immobilise marking kit – or any third party property marking tool – to give it an identifier and then register it for free on Immobilise.

Recipero starts the integration into Transunion

Now Recipero is formally part of TransUnion after being acquired by the leading global risk and information solutions provider last month (19th June), there will be a phased approach to changing our appearance which we expect to complete by the end of the year. Becoming part of TransUnion is an important step in making it easier for companies to do business with us, both domestically and internationally, by providing access to greater expertise across global markets.

What does it mean for you?

During this time of change, our priority remains on continuing to deliver the excellent level of service and insight that our customers have grown to expect.

As the phased integration process continues, you will start to become familiar with TransUnion which already has a presence in over 30 countries worldwide. The company will be referred to as ‘Recipero, now part of TransUnion’ during the initial stage, as reflected in the logo.

If you have any questions about the acquisition and integration process, please reach out to your account management team or for more information you can click here.

We look forward to bringing you further news as our integration journey continues throughout the year.

How can the NMPR help with Police investigations?

Imagine a scenario where you’ve seized the mobile phone, tablet, laptop or other digital device in the course of your investigation. You’ve downloaded the contents or interrogated the device for evidence. With any luck, you’ve found something to assist you to seek well-earned justice for the victim in the case, but why stop there…

Tap the IMEI or serial number into the National Mobile Property Register (NMPR) which has a wealth unique data drawn from the Recipero Crime Reduction Ecosystem. To find the IMEI on any phone dial *#06#. Device data collected from various sources starts to form a picture of the device’s history and provides intelligence that can reveal more about the device itself than the contents of it, helping you make more of every lead.

We have helped to join the dots for a wide range of use cases and investigations ranging from all different types of crime, missing persons, organised crime, custody suite checks on property in the possession of detainees and many others.

If you are interested in finding out more about the ways the NMPR can help make you more efficient in the fight against crime then please get in touch. We recently helped North Wales Police with a week-long force-wide training roadshow which has already started to yield positive results.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to working with you soon!

Andrew Kewley
Police Business Development Manager
andrew.kewley@recipero.com

Don’t get hung up with fraud this New Year and check for warning signs when buying a second hand phone

Mobile phone fraud prevention specialist, Recipero, part of the Callcredit Information Group, is urging consumers and retailers to undertake device checks when buying a second hand phone to avoid becoming a victim of fraud during the January sales and beyond.

Recipero’s CheckMEND data* reveals, that the number of device checks made on second hand iPhones has almost doubled in the last four years, highlighting the growth in the size of the second hand phone market and the increased awareness amongst some consumers and retailers of ensuring the legitimacy of second hand phones.

Last January there was a spike in the number of iPhone checks performed via the Recipero CheckMEND service. More than 1.3 million checks took place (more than 400,000 up on the month before) and Callcredit’s analysts are expecting upwards of two million at the start of 2018.

Mark Harman, Managing Director of Recipero, said: “Even though our findings highlight that there has been an increase in second hand iPhone device checks, fraud is prevalent in what is a market for increasingly expensive devices. Latest ONS crime figures, compiled from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, show 401,000 mobile phones were reported as stolen in the 12 month period ending March 2017. It’s important that consumers and retailers take the necessary precautions and check the history of a device.”

The Recipero data also revealed a surge in the number of searches on the CheckMEND database following the introduction of new iPhone models – as it shows the number of device checks being performed increasing by over a third (36.6%)** in the period after a new release.

Mark concluded: “A check on a second hand phone includes a device life history that starts at the point of manufacture, through ownership changes, right up to it being recycled. The device is checked against IMEI, a phone’s unique reference number, loss and theft reports and police crime reports in the US and UK, insurers title information and settled claims.
These checks provide information which will flag up (red) in a CheckMEND report if the device is compromised, helping to protect those purchasing a second hand phone from acquiring a lost or stolen device.”

*Based on CheckMEND UK data of number of checks made on iPhones each month from Jan 2014- Dec 2017 inclusive. Taken from the Recipero database which is part of the Callcredit Information Group.

**Based on the average number of CheckMEND iPhone device checks two months prior to a new iPhone launch and the average for the two months following.

Preparation is the key to staying safe this winter

You will hear this saying a lot in the coming weeks leading up to Christmas. Preparation is not only a great idea help your Christmas planning run smoothly, but it’s worth preparing for those unforeseen circumstances around the festive period.
 

The last thing you want around this time of year is to worry about burglars but according to The Office of National Statistics, police recorded burglary is up by 3% and theft by 7% compared to last year. So, it is imperative we do as much as possible to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our property as safe as possible.

Follow a few simple tips for a safer holiday season:

Staying Safe this Winter

  1. Register on Immobilise: Before you get too busy with Christmas preparations take some time to record your valuable items on Immobilise, so you have a secure list of precious items.
  2. Deter potential criminals by investing in a motion sensor outdoor flood light and some Immobilise window stickers.
  3. Fake it till you make it, with a Fake TV that recreates the same flickering glow that looks like someone is watching TV, and invest in light timers especially if you are going away.
  4. Keep curtains closed, at night especially when it gets darker earlier and ensure Christmas presents are out of site.
  5. Don’t advertise on social media when you plan to go away. Publishing your movements can let burglars know when there is an empty house.
  6. Preparation is key. Be sure to cancel any scheduled deliveries such as newspaper or milk deliveries that might alert someone you aren’t there.
  7. Don’t hide spare keys. Burglars often watch a house for a few days before attempting to break in and leaving them a key makes it that much easier!
  8. Secure the outside of your home with deadlocks on windows and make sure any sheds or garages are secure.

Festival season is upon us, so keep your valuables safe!

It’s that time of year to kick back and relax at a festival and listen to your favourite kind of music but have you thought about how to keep your valuables safe from loss or theft.

Festivals can be an absolute goldmine for thieves, although there is plenty of advice out there about what is in vogue to wear at festivals this year, there isn’t much advice about protecting your property.

Opportunists can present themselves at any time especially in large crowds so whether you are protecting your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or HTC phone, or are worried about your wallet and camera there are a few things that you can do to keep your valuables safe.

  1. Firstly, you need to register any valuables on Immobilise, the national property register which is linked to the police database (NMPR) where if any property is found the police can run a search and return it to the rightful owner. It is a must do for gadgets such as your mobile phone, which you will want to take with you to a festival. You can register any property on Immobilise, so get registering!
  2. Try not to bring too many valuables in the first place, but if you do don’t leave anything unattended or in tent. Sometimes there may be free locker areas if you do have something you want to lock away.
  3. Keep valuables in the bottom of your sleeping bag at night.
  4. Only take as much cash as you think you will need and try separate cash from cards.
  5. Don’t put phones and wallets in your back pocket.
  6. Report any suspicious behaviour or crime to police immediately.

Stay safe this festival season and have a great time doing it!

Beware of the Mobile Phone Moped Muggers!

Thieves who steal mobile phones straight out of people’s hands as they zoom by on their, often stolen, mopeds are becoming an increasing problem for the public and police.

It’s completely shocking to the person being attacked. Martin Lewis, the money saving expert, who was one of the latest victims can confirm this from his recent attack near Oxford Circus. He tweets about his incident: ‘About 40 minutes ago two men on a moped just rode up on the pavement and snatched my mobile out of my hands. The speed and accuracy was frightening.’ To read more on this attack click here.

Scotland Yard claims that moped muggers are snatching 20 phones an hour and that thieves mainly go for iPhones. If the phone is still switched on then they reset it and sell it on, if not then they will trade it for parts.

If the owner has been astute enough to register their phone on immobilise.com, the National Property Register, they would immediately be able to change the status of the device flagging it as stolen to traders, as well as report it to the Police*. UK Police officers are the ONLY people with authorisation to access the Immobilise database to check the status and ownership of a mobile phone and repatriate it if it is recovered. The Metropolitan Police advise mobile users to activate their phone’s security features when they receive it and to register valuable possessions with immobilise.com for free, pre-loss or theft.

In this increasingly common crime the phone’s owner is often not the only victim. If you are buying a second hand mobile phone, whether that be an iPhone, Samsung, HTC or any other smartphone, then CheckMEND can help you avoid stolen property. An online check costs as little as £1 and will highlight if a phone is blocked, stolen or compromised in someway.  CheckMEND is the most comprehensive device check available helping consumers, traders, recyclers and retailers buy and sell second-hand goods with confidence.

The moral, however of this post is not to give thieves opportunities to steal your possessions or profit from your loss. Try to avoid using your smart phone in public, be cautious, and to be on the safe side always register new phones or mobile devices on immobilise.com.

* Flagging an item as stolen on Immobilise means that information is immediately available to the Police when they conduct searches for it on the Police only NMPR system. In the event of a crime, a report should also be made directly to Police so they are able to investigate it appropriately and request additional details when relevant.

Beat the Burglars this Summer

 

Summer is such a great time of year… the sun is shining (well some of the time), the evenings are longer and everyone seems to be in a much better mood. Whether you are breaking up from school, university or just looking forward to that long-awaited summer holiday (like me), we will all be preparing for some fun activities this summer.

As part of that preparation be aware that if you’re leaving your home and worldly possessions unattended, for even a short period of time, make sure it is safe and secure. The last thing you want after all the excitement of the summer holidays is to find that your possessions have been stolen in one of the 2.1 million burglaries that occur in Britain every year!

So, what can we do about it?

Deter burglars

Homes are 5 times more likely to be burgled if they have no security measures, so it is really important that we do as much as possible to deter burglars from targeting our homes. Taking just a few steps can make a huge difference in keeping your home safe.

  • Lock your doors properly. It sounds so simple but most burglars get in through windows and doors that aren’t locked properly or have flimsy mechanisms. Be sure to invest in strong, visible locks.
  • Install an alarm. Nothing puts burglars off more than an alarm going off.
  • Put Immobilise stickers in obvious places such as garden sheds so they are visible to burglars who will know you have listed your property on Immobilise which makes it harder for them to sell it
  • Use timers on your light switches and get a Fake TV 

 Lock Down 

Remember to lock everything up and keep anything of worth out of sight

  • Keep expensive jewellery in a locked safe
  • Keep TV’s and tech equipment out of view of windows
  • If there is someone you trust, ask if they can check on your property for you and take in your post
  • Don’t discuss holiday plans on social media. Burglars are more likely to live in your surrounding neighbourhood and may even be part of your social network.

Register on Immobilise

  • Should you be unfortunate enough to have any possessions stolen, having a list of everything on immobilise provides the Police with the information they need to be able to return your belongings when found.
  • Immobilise offer many products to mark your property which means it is much easier to identify. From UV pens to the infamous ImmobiTAG for bicycles. Click to visit the Immobilise shop.