Residents urged to register electrical item serial numbers in case of burglary
"NO ONE ever thinks they are going to be burgled, but sadly some are."
That is the message from police as they hit the road to spread the word about the importance of marking your property.
The appeal from Humberside Police came in an attempt to reduce the impact of burglaries.
Last year in North East Lincolnshire there was a 20 per cent reduction in burglaries of homes.
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The number of homes burgled went down by nearly 200 to 816 compared to the previous year.
After a series of roadshows, more residents have recorded the serial numbers of their electrical goods, and others have used free marker pens which leave a mark which is only visible under ultraviolet light.
By logging the serial number of electrical items on the website immobilise.com, owners increase the chances of property being returned to its rightful owner, if it is stolen and later recovered by police.
Detective Chief Inspector Gerry Darling told how police arrest people, question them about a burglary and find them in possession of items which are known to be stolen.
But as no unique serial numbers have been recorded by the owner there is a chance that the items might be returned to the suspect.
He said: "One of the hardest things for a police officer to do is to hand back items to a person, who they are almost certain has stolen them, but cannot prove it due to there being no way of tracing this item back to the owner.
"If the property is recorded on immobilise.com, officers can hopefully trace the rightful owner.
"It also gives officers a greater chance of prosecution as we are able to prove an item has been stolen."
Councillor Dave Bolton, portfolio holder for community safety and neighbourhoods, said: "Burglary is a very upsetting crime for its victims as your home is the one place you should be able to feel safe. But there are steps people can take to reduce the risk of their home being burgled.
"Registering with immobilise.com is one of them and we will be talking to as many people as possible to encourage people to sign up and register their personal items."
For more advice, visit www.homesecurity challenge.co.uk.
Marker pens are available from Grimsby Police Station, and officers will also provide free home security checks.