Four new property marking machines will be in action across York from next week in a bid to deter thieves and protect property.
York Police have invested in the top-of-the-range “dot peen” property marking machines, and are offering the service free to residents.
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.
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 new machines in York can mark at a speed of two characters per second, to an accuracy of 0.006mm, and can be used on everything from steel and aluminium to plastic.
They have been funded by North Yorkshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, and Safer York Partnership.
While other methods of property marking, such as UV marker pens or forensically-coded liquid, can also be very effective in reuniting property with its rightful owners, the visual deterrent of a permanently marked serial number alone could be enough to deter would-be thieves.
Inspector Lee Pointon, of York Police, said: “York is a very safe city, but we do know that over the summer holidays burglars will be on the look-out for empty homes and unattended outbuildings containing valuable property.
“Marking your property is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from being a victim of crime. Criminals will see the permanent unique number, and know immediately that your property is too hot to handle. If the worst happened and you were targeted, marked property is far harder to sell on, and we are much more likely to be able to return it to you.”
Jane Mowat, Director of Safer York Partnership, said: “Safer York Partnership is pleased to support the purchase of additional Telesis property marking equipment as part of our ongoing work to tackle burglary. We cannot stress enough the importance of marking and registering property so that it can be returned to its rightful owner when stolen property is recovered by the police.”
Dot peen marking is suitable for everything from bikes and garden tools to PlayStations and laptop computers.
More than 80 York police officers, PCSOs and volunteer Special Constables are being trained to use the dot peen machines, and in the coming months residents will be invited to attend drop in sessions to get their property marked. Officers will also be working closely with City of York Council and local Neighbourhood Watch schemes to publicise the service.
For more information about property marking, visitwww.northyorkshire.police.uk/propertymarking. You can also install North Yorkshire Police’s free home security web app, BurglarProof, atburglarproof.nyp.mobi. And you can download our interactive home security iBook – just search for “Securing your home” on iTunes.
To find out when your next property marking event is taking place, follow your local York police team on Twitter at @snayorkcityeast,@snayorknorth or @snayorkwest. The service will be promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #whatisdotpeen