More than 1,000 York bikes, tools and gadgets have been marked as part of a ground-breaking new project to protect property and deter burglars.
Four new ‘dot peen’ property marking machines were brought into action six weeks ago, and since then hundreds of people have attended drop-in sessions across York to get their valuable items permanently marked.
Every year, police recover hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of stolen property from the hands of criminals, but all too often there is no way of identifying its rightful owners. Being able to trace the ownership of the property not only helps people get the property back, but it can also provide evidence that is vital in securing convictions for theft, burglary and handling stolen goods.
Dot peen marking involves using a tungsten carbide-tipped pin to indent an object with dots to create a visible, permanent unique number. The unique number will be entered onto the national Immobilise property register database, vastly increasing the chances that it will be reunited with its owner if it is lost or stolen.
The dot peen machines have been funded by North Yorkshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, and Safer York Partnership.
In just six weeks, officers have marked 727 garden and allotment tools, 234 cycles and dozens of assorted gadgets such as cameras, games consoles and speakers.
Among the more unusual items permanently marked and protected against thieves are a wheelchair, a Fender Jazzmaster guitar, two riding saddles and a cello case.
Drop-in sessions have been held at City of York Council’s West Offices, York District Hospital, St Lukes Chruch, York Riding School; community events across the city; and the allotments at Low Moor, Bootham, Strensall, Howe Hill, Hempland Lane, Glen, Bustardthorpe, Fulford Cross.