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Advice guide - fireworks safety

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Fireworks safety

Fireworks are great fun but it is important to remember that they can also cause distress and injuries if not handled properly.

If you are using fireworks at home simply follow our guidelines to ensure you have a safe but fun bonfire night.

Remember remember...

  • Only buy fireworks from a legitimate retailer.
  • It is illegal to supply fireworks to persons under the age of 18.
  • Shops are not allowed to sell fireworks louder than 120 decibels.
  • It is an offence for under 18’s to have fireworks in a public place.
  • You should never throw or set off a firework in the street, onto a road or in a public place.
  • You’re not allowed to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am except on Bonfire night whereby the curfew is midnight to 7am. New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, curfew is 1am.
  • Anyone caught causing a nuisance with fireworks will receive an instant fine of £80 and any fireworks found on a person under18 will be confiscated.
  • Never use any kind of accelerant i.e. petrol to start a bonfire.
  • Always inform your neighbours if you are using fireworks and be considerate.
  • Ensure your fireworks comply with British Standard 7114 or the European equivalents.
  • Remember, if you break the law on fireworks you could be sent to prison for up to six months or your parents or carers could receive a fine.

You can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use on these dates:

  • 15 October - 10 November
  • 26 - 31 December
  • 3 days before Diwali and Chinese New Year

At other times you can only buy fireworks from licensed shops.

You can report issues relating to fireworks to the non-emergency number 101.

Advice Guide - Holiday Security

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Follow the guidance on our holiday checklist to make your home more secure whilst you're away.

Secure your home whilst you're on holiday

A third of all burglaries in Nottinghamshire are due to insecurities. Follow our advice below to help keep your home safe while you're away.

  • Fit good quality kite marked British Standard locks or bolts to all outside doors. Lock all windows and doors and remove the keys to a safe place when you leave the house.
  • If you have an intruder alarm, make sure it’s set. If you don’t have one consider having an approved alarm system installed. Visit www.nsi.org.uk to find approved companies in your area.
  • Make use of timer plugs with lamps and radios to make your house seem occupied. Try and let a trusted friend or neighbour know that you’re going to be away from home. You could ask a trusted neighbour or friend to collect post, open and close curtains.
  • Don’t leave valuable items such as laptops and jewellery in view of windows. Lock valuable items away in a ground anchored safe or you could consider leaving important documents and valuable items with other family members whilst away.
  • Make sure all access points are secured such as gates and activate any external security lighting that you may have.
  • Ensure gardening equipment, tools and ladders are put away and securely stored. Don’t leave them lying around in your garden as they could aid offenders.
  • Ensure that sheds and out buildings are locked and secured. Use good quality locks on garages and sheds (ensure screws on latches and hinges cannot be undone easily from the outside) and where possible ensure that they are alarmed.
  • Mark your valuables such as jewellery and electronic equipment including your gardening equipment, tools and other valuables stored in sheds and garages with your postcode. Visibly marking items with your postcode offers more of a deterrent, and ensure that you use window stickers to show items are marked and identifiable.
  • Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries if you have them. Don’t announce your departure to a shop full of people. Only tell people who need to know you’re going away.
  • Think before posting statuses or commenting on social media about going on holiday. You wouldn’t display a sign in your window advertising that you’re going on holiday, so don’t advertise it online.
  • Make sure that you have up-to-date contents and buildings insurance.
  • Don’t have your home address showing on your luggage for the outward journey. Put this only on the inside of your cases.
  • Is there a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme where you live? Visit www.ourwatch.org.uk and enter your postcode to check to see if there are any schemes declared in your area, or alternatively speak with your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.
  • Finally, just before you actually set off it’s worth allowing a quiet couple of minutes on the doorstep to check you’ve done all you had to do and taken everything you need with you.

Find more excellent advice with our Crime Prevention Guides.

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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Advice guide - Home security

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Home security checklist

Most domestic burglaries are committed by opportunist thieves looking for the easiest way of getting into your home without being seen or disturbed.

Look at your home through the eyes of a burglar. Are there places where a burglar could break into your home without being seen? How would you get in if you had forgotten your keys? If you could get inside, so could a burglar.

Follow the advice on this page to help secure your home.

During the winter

  • As the nights get darker earlier, leave a light on inside your home. Remember to choose low energy lamps.
  • Use a timer switch to operate the lights as it starts to get dark. Change the times that the lights come on to simulate an occupied home.
  • Make sure your front door is well lit. Use dusk to dawn lighting that automatically comes on as it gets dark.
  • Make sure you keep your doors and windows locked at all times.

Windows and doors security

  • When you go out, always close and lock external doors and windows, even if you are just going out for a short time.
  • Fit a five lever mortice lock (British Standard 3621) to all exterior wooden doors. If you are having new windows or doors installed, ensure they are certified to PAS 24:2016 standard for Enhanced security performance requirements for doorsets and windows in the UK.
  • UPVC or composite doors have multipoint-locking systems, but it is strongly recommended they are fitted with an anti-snap lock cylinder (TS007) of 3* standard as a minimum
  • Window locks can be seen from outside and could deter a burglar from forcing the window
  • If you have deadlocks, use them. They make it more difficult for a thief to get out again. But don’t leave the key near the door or in an obvious place nearby
  • If you have a flat roof extension the windows above it should always be locked

Keeping keys safe

  • Ensure your keys are kept in a safe place out of sight and well away from your letterbox
  • Don’t tag keys so they can be easily identified
  • Keep all spare keys in a safe place
  • Don’t leave spare keys outside or in a garage or shed
  • Consider buying a safe for personal papers, passports and small items of jewellery. This must be secured to the floor or a wall

Security outside your home

  • Never leave garages or sheds unlocked, especially if they connect to your property
  • Visible burglar alarms and carefully directed security lighting can deter burglars. Make sure alarms stop sounding after 20 minutes and lights don’t disturb your neighbours

Living in a flat or shared housing

  • Consider having a phone entry system fitted to the main door of your building
  • Never buzz open the door for strangers, or hold open the door for someone you don’t know
  • Get home contents insurance

Going on holiday

  • Suspend any deliveries, such as milk and newspapers
  • Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your property
  • Try to make your home look occupied while you are not there Use timer switches on lamps or your radio

Marking your property

Below are some examples of how you can mark or register your property to ensure it is returned to you if it is ever stolen.

Ultraviolet or invisible marking

It can only be seen by an ultraviolet lamp, although it does fade over time and can be washed off eventually.

Permanent marking

Suitable for hard surfaces by engraving or etching.

Tracking for laptops and smartphones

These can now be traced if stolen by using online tracking software, which is usually free. Search online and register your laptop or phone.

Know your IMEI number.

Intruder alarms

  • If you don’t have an intruder alarm installed, we would suggest that you consider having one installed. Intruder alarms may prevent intruders from breaking into your home as a visible deterrent. Alternatively, if an intruder does attempt to break into your home the alarm activating may scare them off. 
  • If you are considering buying a new intruder alarm, it’s a good idea to obtain at least three quotes from industry approved installers (NSI or SSAIB) or talk to your insurer who may have some recommendations.
  • You can also use the Trading Standards website Checkatrade website to check for vetted suppliers in your area.

There are three types of Intruder Alarm available:

  • Monitored alarm - If the system is breached, a monitoring station informs the key holders and Police within minutes.
  • Audible only alarm - If activated, an alarm sound will alert your neighbours.
  • Auto-dialling alarm - If the alarm is activated, the sound will alert your neighbours and the system will dial a series of telephone numbers.

Be a good neighbour

If you see anyone acting suspiciously in your neighbourhood, call the police on 101 or, in an emergency, 999.

Get more advice on preventing many crimes on our crime prevention guides page.

Speak to our Crime Prevention team

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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Advice guide - Keeping your caravan secure

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Keeping your caravan secure

You know how valuable your own home is to you and how important it is to keep it secure. Imagine how you’d feel if someone broke in.

But what about your caravan?

On holiday or touring, you rely on it as your home. How would you feel if somebody broke in or stole it?

Don’t give thieves the opportunity.

Follow these simple steps to secure your caravan and your valuables inside it.

When your caravan is not in use

  • Remove all your personal belongings and contents when you are not using your caravan. Leave cupboard doors and curtains open, this may help to deter opportunist thieves if they can see it’s empty.
  • Store your caravan securely. If you are choosing a storage site, don’t just look at the price. Check to see that it offers good security measures.
  • If you are leaving your caravan at home, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your caravan as well as your home. Consider fixing good security posts on your drive to prevent your caravan being stolen.

Store your caravan securely

  • Choose a site operated by the Caravan Storage site Owners Association (CaSSOA)
  • Check to see if it offers good security measures for example secure posts to which your caravan can be hitch-locked, ground anchors, security staff or CCTV.
  • Remember if you can enter the storage area and remove your caravan without being approached, then so can a thief.

Devices for securing your caravan

  • Locking the coupling head into a cover using a good quality hitch lock.
  • Using locking wheel nuts and a good quality clamp on the caravan wheels.
  • Chaining your caravan to a robust and secure point. Use a heavy duty chain that is made out of hardened steel to reduce the chance of it being cut through.
  • Installing a reliable alarm system (GSM)and tracking device.

Protect your caravan and belongings

  • Ensure you close and lock your doors, windows and roof lights when you leave your caravan.
  • Don’t leave anything valuable on display, laptops etc.
  • Consider security marking any valuables.
  • Never leave Caravan Registration and identification documents (CRis) in your caravan.

Buying a caravan

  • Check that the chassis number hasn’t been removed or altered.
  • Before buying privately, consider checking the caravans history on CRiS.
  • Check all the keys are available and correct.
  • Check the number plate is the same as the one on the tow vehicle. Be wary if temporary or handwritten number plates are used.
  • Always ask about built in security features such as an alarm or tracking device, caravan safe, hitch-lock or wheel clamps.

Caravan facts

Caravans manufactured since 1992 by the National Caravan Council members are recorded on the CRiS database by their unique 17 digital Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) The 17 digit vehicle identification document (VIN) should be stamped onto the caravan chassis and etched on the windows.

Even if you own a pre-1992 caravan, or imported your own caravan into the UK, you can still register it with CRiS yourself.

All caravans manufactures since August 1997 are electronically tagged for added security.

Visit the Sold Secure website for approved products.

For further and more detailed advice please refer to our Keeping your caravan secure PDF guide.

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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Advice guide - Keeping your jewellery safe

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Keep your jewellery safe, don’t give anyone the opportunity, and follow the advice on this page.

  • Whether you are out or at home, always lock the doors and windows of your house.
  • When you are not wearing your jewellery keep it somewhere safe and out of sight.
  • Invest in a lockable concealed safe, for your home and use it.
  • Invest in a burglar alarm and remember to turn it on.
  • Insure your jewellery. If it is already insured, is your policy up-to-date?
  • Security mark your pieces with methods such as Smartwater or SelectaDNA.
  • Be discreet with your jewellery in crowded, public places. Don’t make yourself a target for an opportunist thief.

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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Advice guide - Mobile phone security

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Keeping your mobile phone safe

Did you know up to 10,000 mobile phones are reported stolen in the UK every month?

Whatever you use your phone for, be it to keep in touch with family and friends, for taking photos and videos, using social media, or for business purposes, you won’t want to lose your phone numbers and other data stored inside.

Follow the advice on this page to help prevent your mobile phone from being stolen.

Securing your phone

  • Never leave your phone unattended.If you have to leave it, make sure it’s secure, out of sight and can’t be heard.
  • Don’t draw attention to your phone by leaving it on view on tables in pubs, cafes and restaurants. A tactic used by thieves is to place newspapers or other items over the phone and scoop it up. They sometimes distract phone owners by asking for directions and taking the phone when they are not looking.
  • Don’t leave your phone unattended in coat pockets or bags.
  • Lock the keypad using a PIN number or pattern code when you are not using your phone. This means it can’t be used to make calls or access your personal data, such as emails and social media accounts, if it is stolen. Use random numbers instead of birthdates or other guessable formats.
  • Regularly back up your data, contacts and photos in case your phone gets damaged, lost or stolen.
  • Record your IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity) somewhere safe. To find out what yours is dial *#06# on your phone or look in the settings on your smartphone.
  • Registering your details makes it more likely that you will be reunited with your phone if it is stolen and later recovered by the Police.
  • If your phone is stolen - report it to the Police immediately. Tell them your IMEI number, if you have any tracking apps installed or any markings on your phone. Tell your insurer and service provider too.
  • Mark your phone, battery and accessories with your postcode using an ultraviolet marker pen. If your phone is stolen and later recovered by police this will make it easier to reunite you with it.
  • Set it to lock after one or two minutes without use.
  • Carry a charger wire or portable charger to make sure you are topped up when required.
  • Avoid saving any personal/sensitive information on your phone.
  • Consider turning off geolocation services in camera apps and your mobile settings. Turn it on only when you need to use it. It will also increase your battery life.

Smartphone security

Smartphones have a range of security features that are intended to stop anyone else accessing and using them should they be stolen. Some of these features are:

  • access control i.e. PIN, password or some form of pattern or biometric authentication (such as fingerprint or facial recognition)
  • remote tracing the location of your handset
  • remote wiping data from, or locking your handset
  • a function to display a home/lock screen message to someone who may find your handset to help you recover it
  • preventing thieves from simply resetting your handset to its factory setting in order to bypass any unique codes or other security features that you are using to protect your handset

You can find more information about your phone's security features in the following places (NOTE: The Home Office has no control over the contents of those sites or resources, and accepts no responsibility for them or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them):



For earlier Blackberry devices







Windows Phone

Get more advice on preventing many crimes on our crime prevention guides page.

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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Advice guide - Motorbike and scooter security

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Keeping your motorbike or scooter safe

Here is our guide with advice and tips from our Crime Prevention Unit on keeping your motorbike or scooter safe and secure.

Security tips for your motorbike or scooter

  • If your motorbike or scooter doesn’t already have one, get a Thatcham or Sold Secure approved electronic immobiliser professionally fitted.
  • If you have a security device fitted, always use it. A wide variety of locks can be used, such as chains or padlocks, disc locks and D locks.
  • The most important thing to remember is to secure your motorbike to a solid object that can’t be moved.
  • Always put a steering lock on.
  • When you are not using your motorbike or scooter, put it in a garage or a secure outbuilding with a fixed or ground anchor to secure it to inside the building. If you can, fit a good lock and an alarm system to your garage or outbuilding.
  • Don’t leave your garage open and make sure your vehicle is covered up, even when you are at home. Some motorbikes and scooters are stolen to order, so a motorbike spotted by a thief today could be stolen tomorrow.

Security equipment

It is worth investing in products that have been tested to ensure they offer a good level of security against attack. There are three ranges of product worth considering.

Secured by Design

The first range as passed the Secured by Design (SBD) Police Preferred Specification. SBD is the national police crime prevention initiative, aimed at ensuring a guaranteed level of security for any security product assessed under the scheme.

Sold Secure

The second range are products tested and certified by Sold Secure, a not for profit company run by the Master Locksmiths Association. Sold Secure offers three levels of approval: Gold, Silver and Bronze, each with a level of security relevant to the grading. Sold Secure Gold is recommended in the following list, based upon products tested in the categories of motorcycle, motor scooter and ground anchor.


The final range is also tested and certified under the guidance of a not for profit organisation, Thatcham. Formed by a group of insurance companies, Thatcham certifies products in the following categories: 1 – alarms and immobilisers, 2 (1) – alarm upgrades, 3 – mechanical immobilisers (locks and chains), 6 – stolen vehicle tracking, 7 – stolen vehicle location, S5 – vehicle tracking. Vehicle marking systems are also tested. When a product achieves Thatcham accreditation, it is confirmed as being TQA – Thatcham Quality Assured.

Some products are not security rated, but are still of great use in deterring or preventing theft, such as bike covers, grip locks and one way screws for number plates.

Safer parking advice for your motorbike and scooter

  • Whenever possible, avoid leaving your helmet or other accessories on your motorbike or scooter or in a luggage space on panniers.
  • If you are parking your bike, leave your seat open so that thieves do not break the seat lock if they target your vehicle and search for items to steal.
  • Use a parking space built specially for motorbikes or scooters. They will have stands or security loops.
  • Look for one that has achieved the police approved safer parking award-Park Mark.

Find out more at: www.parkmark.co.uk

Security marking and devices

  • It is a good idea to security mark your vehicle and as many parts of it as possible.
  • Use an engraving kit or a security marker pen to mark your motorbike or scooter with identifying details, such as the vehicle registration number or postcode.

Engine cut-off switch

Fit this switch after you have bought your vehicle so a potential thief doesn’t know where it is located on your motorbike or scooter.


Alarms are not always the cure-all they are sold as. If no one hears it, it is not effective. If someone does hear it, they often ignore it.

Particularly effective alarms are:

  • Paging alarm- sends an alert to a pager if the alarm is triggered.
  • Talking alarm- emits a spoken warning if your vehicle is touched and then sounds an alarm.
  • Visit the Secured by Design website for products approved by the police www.securedbydesign.com.

Get more advice on preventing many crimes on our crime prevention guides page.

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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Advice guide - Personal safety

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Keeping you and your family safe

The chances of you or a member of your family becoming a victim of a violent crime, a robbery or another crime against the person, are low. Crimes against a person by strangers in public places are still rare and account for a very small part of recorded crime.

However, you can make yourself even less likely to be the victim of a personal crime by taking a few sensible precautions. Many are common sense, and may be things that you already do. Making yourself safer doesn’t mean changing your entire lifestyle, personality or wardrobe, and it doesn’t mean never going out at all.

You should think about how you would act in different situations before you are in them. Think about whether you would stay and defend yourself (using reasonable force) or simply get away as quickly as you can. There is nothing wrong with doing either, but you should think about the options.

Follow the advice on this page to improve your personal safety.

General personal safety

  • You will be safest in bright, well-lit, busy areas.
  • Appear and act confident - look like you know where you’re going and walk tall. Concentrate on where you are going, not on your mobile phone or gadgets.
  • You might like to spread your valuables around your body. For example, keep your phone in your bag, your house keys in your trouser pocket and your money in your jacket.
  • If someone tries to take something from you, it may be better to let them take it rather than get into a confrontation and risk injury.
  • You can use reasonable force in self-defence. You are allowed to protect yourself with something you are carrying (for example keys or a personal alarm) but you may not carry a weapon.
  • If you decide to defend yourself, be aware that your attacker might be stronger than you or may take what you are using in self-defence and use it against you. It is often better to shout loudly and run away.
  • If you use a wheelchair, keep your things beside you rather than at the back of the wheelchair.
  • Try not to advertise your valuables such as mobile phones, laptops, notebooks, tablet or iPod/MP3 player, jewellery or watch.
  • When out walking, be careful not to make your personal items, as mentioned above, an easy target for robbers. Try to keep them hidden.
  • Stay alert - your phone is a valuable item. When you are out, be aware of your surroundings and don’t use your phone in crowded areas or where you might feel unsafe. Don’t be distracted by it!

If you feel anxious consider carrying a personal attack alarm.

Personal safety apps

Smartphones can be utilised for personal safety. Apps such as bSafe, Life360 or Send Help allow you to track and locate family member, send a text message alert when in danger, securely store the voice, location, and timestamps of any incidents that occur to assist police and prosecution. PanicGuard is a personal safety smartphone application that achieved ACPO ‘Secured by Design’ accreditation.

Theft and robbery

Street robbery is generally known as mugging. It can also cover snatching bags.

Pick-pocketing is slightly different, as you will not be aware of the offence taking place.

Robbery is more likely to take place in quiet or dark areas, and pick-pocketing where it is busy, for example on a busy train in rush hour.

Tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Remember - be aware of your surroundings. Concentrate on what and who is around you. Don’t be distracted by using mobile gadgets and MP3 players. If you are listening to music, use just one headphone so that you are aware of someone approaching you.
  • Don’t give thieves the chance to take your valuables from you. Don’t put them on show.
  • Don’t leave your bag, wallet, valuable jewellery, mobile phone or MP3 player on display to thieves.
  • If someone tries to take something from you by force, it may be best to give it to them. This will help you avoid getting injured.
  • Don’t leave bags or pockets open or unzipped. It’s easier for a thief to dip into an open bag. Purse bells are a great way of further protecting your purse.

Keeping your credit and bank cards safe

  • Keep your cards separate from your cheque book.
  • If your cards are stolen, call your bank or credit card company as soon as possible. Most banks put the number to call if your cards are stolen on your statement. They are also often shown on cash machines.
  • Treat your cards like cash - never let them out of your sight and never keep your PIN number with your cards.

Transport safety

This section offers some general tips on how to keep yourself safe and secure when making a journey - either catching a bus, taxi or train, or when you’re in the car.

Public transport safety

  • As with everything, you are safest where there are other people and where it is well lit.
  • Plan your route.
  • Try to wait in busy or well-lit areas.
  • Sit near other people, near the driver if you are on a bus or near the guard if you are on a train.
  • If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, get up and move away.
  • Take extra care at crowded bus stops and on crowded buses and trains. Keep your bag closed and make sure your pockets are not accessible.

Getting home safely - Taxis

  • If you are going to be out late, try to arrange a lift home or book a taxi in your name.
  • Always keep the number of a reliable firm handy. Avoid minicabs or private-hire cars that tout for business and are unlicensed.
  • If you can pre-book your taxi, make a note of the company you are using and the phone number and leave it with a friend.
  • When the taxi arrives, ask the driver to check it’s the one that you booked.
  • Always sit behind the driver in the back seat. If you feel uneasy, ask to be let out in a well-lit area where there are plenty of people.
  • If in any doubt, don’t get in the taxi.

Get more advice on preventing many crimes on our crime prevention guides page.

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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Advice guide - Protect yourself online

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Online support

What is cybercrime?

'Cyber crime' is a term used to define any crime that takes place online or where a digital system is targeted by means of a criminal attack.

Nottinghamshire Police takes cyber criminality very seriously, with cyber-enabled crime (existing crimes that have been transformed in scale or form by use of the Internet) being one of our strategic priorities. Victims of cyber crime can be a single person, a group of people, or an organisation. Some examples of how cyber crime can affect you as an individual or group are:

  • Having your social media or other online accounts hacked
  • Being bullied online (often referred to as cyber bullying)
  • Someone gaining access to your online banking account(s), giving them your access to your bank account details and finances (this may also come under fraud - see our dedicated Fraud advice pages)
  • A person or group pretending to be someone they are not while online for the purposes of extracting money from you
  • Spam emails for the purposes of infecting devices and stealing personal information, or scam emails attempting to part you with your money

Large companies or organisations may also face the danger of cyber breaches or hacks - where cyber criminals attempt to disrupt business or steal data owned by a business - for the purposes of corporate espionage, ransom, or to de-fraud that business' customers.

Protect yourself against cybercrime

By taking a few simple steps to educate yourself about the dangers of cyber crime and how you can protect yourself, you are making it much more difficult for the criminals to take advantage.

Please report all cybercrime incidents directly through the Action Fraud website, or by calling 0300 123 2040

We align all of our advice with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), please take a look at their website for further support and guidance.

Nottinghamshire Police have teamed up with Get Safe Online, an expert in advance about keeping yourself protected and safe while using technology in a world that is increasingly based online in your personal and professional life.

Here, you can find out lots more about all aspects of staying safe online, including:

There is also a dedicated advice section for businesses that covers protecting hardware and devices, information security, software protection and advice on ways of working.

Other useful resources

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Parent's Guide to Games is a one-stop shop where families can find everything they need to get started, including information on parental controls, age ratings and other hints and tips.

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Follow @NottsFraudCops on Twitter for specialist fraud and cybercrime advice from Nottinghamshire Police.

Advice guide - Protecting your art and antiques

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Protecting your art and antiques

Nottinghamshire Police recognises the high value that art and antiques hold in monetary value and sentimental value for their owner.

Keeping detailed documentation can be crucial in helping return art and antiques to their owner if they are stolen.

These tips show how you can go about keeping a detailed inventory of your valuables.

Take photographs of your valuables

Having photographs of your valuable items can greatly increase the chances of them being returned to you if they are stolen.

Take a few photographs of each item, including the aspects of it that make it uniquely identifiable.

It can be useful if you can include the following in your photographs:

  • Any distinguishing marks and hallmarks
  • The object’s size and dimensions, by placing a ruler next to it
  • Show the front and back of the item, particularly paintings
  • Try to use a plain background
  • Take the photograph in natural light rather than using the flash facility

Write a description of your valuables

It is far easier to write a description of your valuable item when you are looking at it, rather than trying to remember it in the event of it being stolen.

When describing an object of value, the ‘Object ID’ format is recognised throughout the art world and usually includes some of the following details:

  • Type of object - for example, painting or clock
  • Materials - for example, wood, ceramic or glass
  • Measurements - size and weight
  • Marking - hallmarks, signatures, any damage or marks
  • Title - name of the painting or object
  • Maker - creator or company
  • Subject - what the object represents
  • Date or period of the object - for example, art deco

It is also useful to include any extra information that could help identify the object, for example, its colour or shape.

Once you have taken photographs and written descriptions of your art and antiques, make sure you keep them in a safe place.

It is important that they are not kept with your art and antiques.

Property marking

Property marking (also known as asset marking) is becoming an increasingly popular crime prevention technique and deterrent to criminals. It is cost effective and doesn’t take long to carry out.

The idea is that if a criminal sees your property is marked, they would be less likely to steal it as the item is more difficult to sell or pass on, making it less desirable.

A thief is less likely to steal well marked property or break into premises where property is marked because:

  • It increases their chances of being caught
  • It makes the property more difficult to sell
  • It will significantly reduce the price the item will obtain

Visible property marking

Items can be visibly marked using stencilling kits to display your name and postcode. SelectaMark is an example of a visible asset marking product.

It is permanent as the indelible compound slightly melts on to the surface of the item, leaving the text secure. Offenders could try to file off the stencilling, but this would leave a mark and look suspicious when trying to sell your item on.

Invisible property marking

Invisible marking systems use a forensically coded solution to mark items. These systems include SmartWater and SelectaDNA.

If an item is stolen and later recovered by police, it is examined using an ultraviolet light, which highlights the presence of the solution on the item.

Each batch of solution has its own unique code, registered to the buyer. This means items marked with your solution can be proven to be yours and returned to you. If you use this type of property marking system, it is vital you register your kit, or police will not be able to reunite you with your items if they are stolen and later recovered.

Ultraviolet marker pens can also be used. They can be bought from most supermarkets and stationery shops. You can use the pen to write your name and postcode on valuable assets without detracting from their value and appearance.

Get more advice on preventing many crimes on our crime prevention guides page.

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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