Crime Prevention Advice - From the Home Office

Effective Property Marking

Why don’t we mark our property?

Is it because often we’re covered by insurance and don’t want the old model back if we get a new one? Probably. Unless an item has sentimental or practical value and can’t be replaced, we’re unlikely to want stolen property returned, especially if its months after the burglary and we’ve forgotten all about it. It might also be a bit of the “I’ll do it next week…” syndrome that we’ve never got round to actually marking our things and now it's too late…

Either way, we’re making it easy for the criminal to carry on thieving.

Why we should mark our property

If the police find someone in possession of your stolen property, do you want them convicted? The answer is probably yes – but how can the police prove it’s stolen if it’s not marked or recorded anywhere?

Even if you think your property isn’t valuable enough to mark, you should mark it so that if it is stolen, it makes it more difficult for the criminal to dispose of and far more likely that they will be convicted if caught in possession.

Make life difficult for the thief

·         Permanently and visibly marked property is obviously identifiable and consequently there is some deterrent to stealing it. (Burglars have been known to leave property at the scene of a burglary due to good marking.)

·         Permanent and visibly marked property is good evidence as it is difficult to explain away and is easily traceable. There is considerable evidence that burglars and receivers dislike well marked property because anyone found in possession of it is likely to be convicted of an offence, which is widely known.

·         The resale value of well-marked property is considerably less as few want to own or possess it. How many people would buy equipment with someone else’s postcode marked into the surface? Even if the marking is gouged out the item is defaced, “looks stolen”, and its value is reduced even further. Thieves want to dispose of stolen property quickly, easily and profitably. If you were a thief would you steal marked goods, knowing that it’s going to be difficult or impossible to sell and that if found with it you’ll be convicted?

Even if the worst happens and the property is stolen ‘the payoff’ is likely to be so reduced that being burgled again is highly unlikely. (Known as repeat victimisation.)






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