Protecting your Christmas gifts from thieves
With Christmas less than a week away police
are reminding people to property mark gifts as many of us will be
purchasing and receiving the latest electronic gadgets, computers,
jewellery and must-have accessories.
Unfortunately having these items will provide
thieves with the perfect incentive to commit burglaries.
A number of precautions can be taken to help
protect your new gadgets and belongings from opportunistic
One of the best ways to do this is to mark
your property by using an ultraviolet pen to mark your items with
your postcode and the number of your house/flat.
Items can also be registered with
Immobilise - an online tool where you can register items
such as mobile phones and other items free of charge. Once an item
has been registered, police officers can access the database to
trace the owners of any property they may recover.
Items such as bicycles can also be registered
with Bike Register - the UK’s leading online bicycle identification
and registration initiative.
Other tips on how to secure your property:
- Take pictures of all valuable items
- Make a note of the make, model and serial numbers of your
items. This will help the police to identify them if they’re
- Invest in motion sensor lighting to light up the approach to
- Dispose of gift packaging carefully. Make sure you only put
your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to
fold boxes so they don’t advertise your new contents of your home
to thieves. Ideally take the packaging to a recycling plant
- Protect your identity and shred receipts and personal
- Make sure your doors and windows are locked
- Keep your curtains/blinds closed at night
- Make your home looked lived in if you’re going away. Cancel
milk and paper deliveries, use light timers to turn lights on and
off, and ask neighbours or a family member to pick up your mail and
open and close your curtains
- Make sure your garage and shed are locked securely. Any ladders
that you leave outside are also secured against something so
burglars can’t use them to access your house
- Don’t hide keys under flowerpots or under door mats as burglars
know where to look.
- Use a house alarm if you have one.
Further information is also available via the
Immobilise and Bike Register websites.