Property marking can protect your belongings against theft and can help the police return your property to you if recovered. Marking also makes it less attractive to steal, as it creates a bigger risk for thieves if they are caught in possession.
However you choose to mark your property, you should show that you have taken crime prevention measures and always use stickers if provided. Inform your insurance company as you may get a discount.
• Put your postcode on the item followed by surname or door number/house name.
• If you are a student studying away from home include the initials of your university or school and your student number.
• Permanent marker pen or paint can be used on large pieces of machinery, tools and garden equipment, but remember to avoid placing the marks where weathering and cleaning might erase them.
• Take colour photographs of any valuable or unusual items, paying special attention to any unique marks such as initials, crests or damage.
• Publicise the fact that you have taken these measures by using appropriate signage and stickers.
• Choose products that have been tested, for example: Sold Secure and Secured by Design products.
• Ultra violet (UV) or invisible marking - The UV marker pen is only visible using a UV light. Police may use them when property is recovered. Remember that UV markings need to be re-applied from time to time as they will fade.
• Engraving or etching will work on most hard surfaces.
• Ceramic marking pens are specially designed to mark china, glass or glazed surfaces.
• Forensic marking involves using harmless solutions that contain a unique forensic code (like a fingerprint), making it easy to identify marked items. Police approved companies that provide these marking solutions include:
The police have joined forces with Immobilise, a national online property database to help keep property safe and return stolen items to their rightful owners.
Almost any possession with a serial number can be registered for free including:
• Mobile phones
• iPods, MP3 players and games consoles
• Laptops, computers and tablets
• Satellite navigation and in-car equipment