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Partnership action to protect personal property

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A new scheme designed to help people protect their personal property is being launched in the Selby area, with the support of Selby District Council and partners.

Partnership action to protect personal property

The dot peen property marking system enables the police to etch a unique reference number onto a range of items, which includes the postcode of the owner.  This acts as a deterrent to potential theft, and will also help to recover stolen property if it’s found.  All items marked will be listed on a national database, which means that if they are stolen and are recovered elsewhere, the owner can be easily identified.

Property marking will be led by Police Community Support Officers, who will be raising the profile of the scheme with Selby district residents over the coming weeks, for example working closely with Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators.

Sergeant Ray Milligan, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Selby is a very safe place, but we do know that over the summer holidays burglars will be on the look-out for empty homes and unattended outbuildings.

“Marking your valuable property is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from being a victim of theft or burglary.  Criminals will spot the engraving, and realise that the item will be too difficult to sell on.  Should the worst happen, the unique number will vastly increase the chances that police can reunite you with your property if it’s lost or stolen.  Being able to trace the ownership of stolen items in this way can provide key evidence that is vital in securing convictions.

“Dot peen machines have been used very successful in York and Harrogate, so this is a great opportunity for people in Selby to protect their property and help us fight crime.”

Mary Weastell, Chief Executive of Selby District Council and Police Community Support Officers mark a local resident’s gardening tools using dot peen.
Mary Weastell, Chief Executive of Selby District Council and Police Community Support Officers mark a local resident’s gardening tools using dot peen.

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.

Dot peen machines can mark at a speed of two characters per second, to an accuracy of 0.006mm   and can be used on steel, aluminium and plastic – everything from bikes and garden tools to PlayStations and laptop computers.

Selby District Council’s Executive member with responsibility for community safety, Cllr Chris Metcalfe, added: “This is a practical way in which we can help people to protect their property.  It’s important to stress, however, that the Selby district remains one of the safest parts of one of the safest counties in England: but it’s schemes like this that will help to keep it that way; and that’s why the District Council wanted to invest in this.”

You can find out more at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/whatisdotpeen.  Property marking sessions are publicised on Facebook, and on Twitter using the hashtag #whatisdotpeen.

Last modified: October 16, 2018