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Advice guide - Protecting your valuables at home

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Keeping your valuables safe at home

Marking your property makes it less attractive to thieves. Traceable property may be more difficult for an offender to sell on, particularly items that have been visibly marked. Marking your property also increases the chances of you being reunited if it is stolen and later recovered.

Follow the advice in this section to help keep your valuables secure.

Take photographs of your valuables

  • Taking photographs of your valuables can increase the chances of property being returned to you if it is stolen and recovered.

Try to take photographs of:

  • Any distinguishing marks and hallmarks.
  • Size and dimensions.
  • The front and back of the object.
  • Make, model, and serial number(s).

Write a description of your valuables

It is much easier to write a description while looking at an object rather than trying to remember the object if it has been stolen. For example; the type of object,
materials the object is made from, measurements of the object, any
markings the object has and the date you purchased the object.

  • Type of object: television, mobile phone, bike etc
  • Materials: wood, ceramic, glass
  • Measurements: size, weight
  • Markings: hallmarks, damage
  • Maker: brand or manufacturer
  • Date: where purchased and value

Property marking

Property marking falls into two categories; visible and invisible. Visible is the most effective because it makes it difficult for an offender to sell on. When using any type of property marking it is important to display signs to show that you have marked your property to deter thieves.

Visible property marking

SelectaMARK is a permenant, indelible, stencil kit. The indelible compound works on plastic paint or powder coated surfaces. It slightly melts the surface of the object and when cured leaves a permenant, visible, raised mark similar to Braille.

Another visible option to consider is a product called Cremark, which consists of a permenant marker pen and curing lacquer.

Invisible property marking

Invisible property marking solutions include SelectaDNA, SmartWater or Crimestoppers Property Protector. These products use a forensically coded solution which is applied to items.

They fluoresce under ultraviolet light and each batcth of solution has its own unique forensic code. When property is recovered, if the solution is found to be on the item, it can be sent away to be tested to find the owner of the property. It is important to ensure that, if you use this type of asset marking, you register your kit, otherwise if property is stolen and recovered owners cannot be traced.

An alternative method of invisible asset marking is to use ultra violet marker or postcode pens. These are available in most supermarkets and stationary stores at low cost. These pens can be used to write your name and postcode on valuable assets without detracting from the value and appearance.

Register with Immobilise

  • Register your valuables at property database www.immobilise.com for free.
  • Registering your details makes it more likely that you will be reunited with your items if stolen and later recovered by the police.
  • You can also help to deter thieves once you have registered your property on Immobilise by displaying window stickers at your home. This warns thieves that your property is traceable. The stickers are available on the Immobilise website.

The Pre Crime Unit are able to obtain property marking kits at cost price, so if you are interested in buying a property marking kit, please make contact with us.

View more crime prevention guides here.

To speak to our Crime Prevention Unit about protecting your property and reducing your chances of becoming a victim of crime, email crime.prevention@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk

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