The police recover many items that have been lost or stolen. If you security mark items that have financial or sentimental value, it is easier for the police to identify them and return them to you.
Marking your property may also act as a deterrent to thieves, who do not want to be caught holding or passing on stolen items.
Always include information that will help identify you as the owner of the property, for example, a postcode.
Security marking your property
There are a number of different ways of marking your valuables, including:
- Ultra violet (UV) marking - UV pens put a mark on your property that can only be seen under a UV lamp. These markers are available from most stationery shops.
- Damage marking - Garden equipment, heavy electrical items and power tools can be marked with a painted sign, making them easy to identify and deterring thieves. This may reduce the resale value of the item.
- Ceramic marking - Ceramic marking pens are designed to mark china, glass or glazed surfaces. They do not cut or scratch the surface but do leave a permanent mark.
- Forensic marking solutions - These are harmless solutions that contain a unique forensic code making it easy to identify marked items. They also leave a distinctive mark on anything they touch, which helps the police to identify anything or anyone they have been in contact with.
- Specialist marking - Marking items like jewellery or antiques can be difficult and could reduce their value. There are now marking and valuation services specifically for these types of items. Ask at a good quality jewellers or antique shop for a recommendation.
- Record serial numbers and mobile phone IMEI numbers
- Register the serial numbers of your valuables on Immobilise.com - the UK national property database
- Get and keep receipts when you buy new and used items
- Door and window stickers that say 'property is security marked' may deter thieves from trying to access your home
Home contents insurance means you will be able to replace any items that are stolen from you.
If you are a victim of burglary
As soon as you are aware that your property has been stolen:
- Contact your bank or building society immediately to cancel any stolen cards
- Report the incident to the police by calling 101
- Contact your home contents insurer
- Replace door and window locks.