Tag Archives: Crime Prevention

Avon and Somerset Police lauch mobile phone campaign

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DCSO Mike Willis with mobile phones which were seized as part of a police investigation

Avon and Somerset Police has launched a campaign urging people to report mobile phone thefts and add their phones to the immobilise national property register.

The campaign has been launched following the seizure of nearly 2,000 mobile phones as part of a police investigation in Bristol.

However, officers can only establish that 50 of these phones have been stolen as only a small proportion of the phones can be linked to theft-related offences reported to police.

Police raided a property, in the St Pauls area of the city, on 21 July and found a range of items, including laptops, cameras and 1,800 mobile phone handsets.

District crime support officer Mike Willis said:

We have managed to identify 50 as stolen, 58 have been blocked by the phone’s provider, while another 51 have been registered to a named user and we are currently contacting the owners of these.

However, all the others are unaccounted for. It may be that a number of these have been stolen but if they haven’t been registered by the user or the theft hasn’t been reported to the police then it is much more difficult for us to establish this.

Of the phones for which we do have details, one handset was stolen from a lady in Weston. It was not insured and she was tied in to a three year contract paying £30 per month. She would have had to carry on paying this for another two and a half years.

The Weston mobile phone was worth around £300 and another handset worth £350, stolen in Stevenage just weeks after it was purchased, was also found in the haul.

Police are urging people not only to report any phone thefts but also to supply the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number when reporting it to make it easier to identify. They are also encouraging people to register their phones on the Immobilise website, which is used by all police forces to check the property they recover.

Mike said:

Mobile phone theft accounts for around six per cent of total crime in the area. Most thefts are from walk-in home thefts, pick pocketing or walk-in thefts to shops or other public locations.

We are keen to crack down on this kind of crime and would encourage everyone to make sure they have recorded the details of their phones so that it is easier for us to trace the owner of a phone and return it to them if it is stolen.”

A mobile phone’s IMEI number can be found behind the battery of the phone or provided by the network provider or by keying *#06# on the phones keypad.

To register your phone so that it can be listed in case of loss or theft visit www.immobilise.com

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

Police urge residents to keep doors and windows secured

Following a number of burglaries in Suffolk, police are urging residents to keep their properties secure at all times.

All of the homes that were targeted by the thieves in the Stowmarket and Stowupland area had left a window or a door open or unlocked resulting in items including mobile phones, digital cameras, mp3 players, laptops, wallets and games consoles have been stolen, worth a combined total of over £4,000.

Detective Sergeant Ann Naylor, of Suffolk police, said:

It may be tempting to leave windows and doors open whether overnight or during the day in the summer – but this is an invitation to enter your property for a burglar, who will take advantage of the easy access.

Whether you are inside or outside in the garden, keep doors and windows secure so only you can get in and out.

Most of the items taken are small and easily portable – however they are traceable if you take the right steps to safeguard your property. Security mark items and take photos of any valuables, these pictures could help trace them in the event that they are stolen.

You can also register with the free national property database Immobilise at www.immobilise.com. This national system is used by most police forces, including Suffolk – all you need to do is enter the serial number of your phone, computer, MP3 player, bike or anything else with such a code, and update the system if it is lost or stolen.

If the police seize stolen property, or an item is found, officers can search the database to find out who the item belongs to, and your property will be returned. You can also use the system to find out if a second-hand item you want to buy is stolen.

To read the source article please go to: EADT Online

Hundreds arrested in mass burglary crackdown

BurglarRochdale Online has reported that over 100 people have been arrested as part of a massive police crackdown on burglaries.

Officers carried out 110 raids, in search of stolen property and other evidence linking the occupants to criminal activity.

Operation Storm, which is aimed at targeting burglars by Greater Manchester Police resulted in 140 arrests being made between 20-24 July.

A team of highly qualified and experienced senior police officers and staff hand-picked to manage Operation Storm will continue to tackle burglary into the New Year.

Though the new high-impact initiative is intelligence and enforcement led police have also stepped up awareness raising activity aimed at making residents aware of how they can significantly decrease their chances of falling victim to this distressing crime.

Over the weekend officers were based at the entrances of almost 90 major supermarkets in the region during all opening hours.

They gave shoppers information on how they can provide police with the vital information they need to bring criminals to justice.

Officers also visited hundreds of homes as part of the week of action to give crime reduction advice and literature to householders and encourage them to register their valuables on the free, easy to use Immobilise.com property database.

Detective Chief Superintendent Russ Jackson who heads up the Operation Storm initiative said:

The results of this week of action shows that Greater Manchester Police is taking the fight against burglary to the offender.

Residents can be assured that this is only the first of a whole range of enforcement activities that will be brought to bear on burglars in the coming months. Offenders will be left with no place to shelter from the wrath of this Storm.

People can help us bang up burglars by providing information on crime and criminal activity either to us directly on 0161 872 5050 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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

Immobilise plays key part in reducing crime at Glastonbury music festival

As thousands of festival goers leave Worthy Farm behind, Avon and Somerset Police are reflecting on a successful Glastonbury.

AvonSomersetPolice_GlastonburyOverall crime rates at the festival have fallen significantly in comparison to 2008 when mobile phone crime and thefts from tents rose dramatically.

In total 445 crimes (including drug offences) have been recorded by police at this time compared to 483 at the same time the previous year.

174 of those incidents were drug related in comparison to 166 last year. Theft from tents is this year down by nearly 30 per cent from 244 to 179 reported instances at the same time in 2008.

Specific Challenges for the force this year included reducing the number of thefts from tents and reducing mobile phone crime as well as for the first time working in conjunction with Glastonbury Festival Security to patrol campsites.

Chief Superintendent Kay Wozniak said:

The figures for Glastonbury 2009 highlight that the policing operation has been a tremendous success.

A great deal of planning goes into the Festival to make sure that it is a safe place to be for all festival goers. We always work closely with our partner agents to improve the operation year on year.

Last year’s figures demonstrated that thefts from tents and mobile phone crime were the two issues that affected festival goers the most. This year the figure has been reduced significantly in both instances. Giving out crime prevention advice and using initiatives, such as the Immobilise scheme, has played a significant part in bringing these numbers down.

Not only has the police operation been a success, all our officers have been well received on site. Hundreds of festival goers have commented on how professional and friendly our

2010 even safer.

To read the source article in full please goto: Avon & Somerset Police

Police advise that defensive planting can deter thieves

Police in Avon and Somerset are helping residents combat crime by encouraging them to take up gardening! Gardens are often the first line of defence against crime as two-thirds of burglars gain entry to homes via the back of the property. There advice although aimed at local residents, is just as relevant wherever you live whether that be in town or county.

The summer months also see an increase in thefts from gardens and sheds as people bring out their garden furniture and equipment as the weather improves.

The value of property stored in gardens, sheds and garages is often much more than people realise and can soon add up. Power tools, plants, containers, hand tools, sports equipment, cycles and toys are among those items most frequently taken by garden thieves.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary suggest that using defensive planting and prickly bushes to enhance the security of boundaries, around drainpipes or beneath ground floor windows, making forced entry more difficult and less attractive to would be burglars, is a simple, inexpensive and environmentally friendly crime prevention favourite.

Marking power tools with postcodes and house numbers is also effective. These details can then be placed on www.immobilise.com which can be used by members of the public and businesses to register their valued possessions or company assets. Alternatively, permanently mark them by scratching or painting this will also reduce their value to the thief.

Crime Reduction Officer Tony Alderman from Taunton said:

People can take very simple but effective crime reduction measures, which can have a dramatic effect on their property’s overall security.

Clever planting, padlocks on gates and sheds and motion sensor lights are inexpensive and effective. Garden tools are often used to assist the burglar breaking into a property – ladders, are particularly helpful to thieves for example, so keep them locked away.

To read the source article in full go to: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

£5 billion stolen goods for sale online… watch out!

Today we released a report stating ‘£5 billion worth of stolen goods are on sale online over the internet at any one time in the UK’. Even more shocking, every minute two items are identified as being stolen

We know this because we are the UK’s online stolen property checking service that identifies over 1 million stolen items every year.
Our CheckMEND blog will aim to keep you updated and up to speed on any online shopping crime, crime prevention topics and stolen goods statistics. We shall let you know what’s going on in the world of ‘hot goods’ and any relevant breaking news…
About us-

So that we are clear from the start, here are a few notes about us:

  • CheckMEND is a brand from Recipero Limited www.recipero.com, a company founded by entrepreneur Adrian Portlock and two other non-executive directors that had it’s official launch in July 2006
  • CheckMEND searches the UK’s largest database of stolen goods and blocked mobile phones with nearly 30 million records which can be checked by a perspective purchaser prior to purchasing an item. We can refer to it as a super database, but NOT a government run ‘stupid’ database
  • Since it’s launch CheckMEND has carried out over 10 million checks online
  • The majority of UK Police forces use the CheckMEND data to check the legitimacy of property many thousands of times a week.
  • In the UK CheckMEND is already recommended by ebay for the checking of mobile phones before purchase

To find out more about what we do watch our video online http://www.checkmend.com

Why are there so many stolen goods online?
The problem is being exacerbated by “faceless” selling on the growing range of online auction and classified sites and the new phenomenon of “Market Places” on social networks, like Facebook, eBay and specific online mobile phone shopping sites.

Plus with the backdrop of the credit crunch impacting on family purses, UK consumers are increasingly on the lookout for a bargain or are clearing out their clutter to sell online or at the local car boot sale.

For any of you bargain hunters out there always check with CheckMEND if what you are about to buy is stolen or you could find yourselves in a pickle!

The Bigger Picture
Not only can you protect yourself from the hassle of purchasing stolen goods and from the risk of prosecution for handling them… if we reduce the opportunities for thieves to sell stolen property, then surely the demand will reduce as well. Only last week the Design Council released a study that found that one in eight children aged 11 to 16 has been the victim of a “hot product” theft, in the past three years

Plus, think about it if you are selling your laptop on eBay and can prove, with a free to view certificate, that what you’re selling is legit then people would be more likely to buy from you, rather than the next person who can prove the background of the laptop they’re selling!

Stewert Mitchell from the Times wrote an interesting feature which named online auctions as ‘Unscrupulous thieves who con innocent buyers’ but authorities seem powerless. We agree but with help of checkMEND authorities are becoming increasingly powerful with more arrest being made each year.

Warning – what we have found:

We have found that on average one in ten items of second hand goods checked through CheckMEND is being identified as being reported as stolen. Since its launch in 2006, CheckMEND has recently carried out 10 million checks on items valuing over £1 billion.

The value of the goods identified as being stolen is around £100 million.
Here are some fast facts we have for you:

  • There are over £1 billion worth of insurance claims made in the UK every year from items being stolen
  • There are over 30 million items of stolen property listed on CheckMEND from the UK with an estimated value of £3 billion
  • 10% of all items of second hand goods checked through CheckMEND is identified as having been reported stolen
  • Over 10 million checks have been made through CheckMEND over the last 18 months
  • Over 600,000 checks are now made through CheckMEND every month
  • The total value of items checked over the last 18 months is over £1 billion
  • The value of the stolen goods identified as stolen is over £100 million