Make property marking your New Year's resolution

Chiltern and South Bucks Community Safety Partnership is urging people to take a few minutes in January to security mark any valuable new items they may have received as gifts or bought over Christmas.

Many residents will have been lucky enough to have been given iPads, tablets, cameras, new games consoles and new bikes for Christmas, all of which are desirable to thieves. Marking property ensures it can be returned to its rightful owner in the event of it being recovered after a burglary. It also acts as a deterrent to thieves by making the items harder to sell on.

Items should be marked on the back or underneath with a postcode and house number using an ultra violet (UV) pen which are available in most DIY stores.

Larger items, such as bikes, scooters or machinery can be permanently marked using an engraver or etching kit.

Using forensic marking products such as SmartWater and Selecta DNA are also a highly effective way to mark property. A liquid solution is applied giving items either a chemical or DNA code depending on the product used, which is unique to the owner. The solution cannot be seen by the naked eye and is incredibly difficult to remove. It glows under ultraviolet light, allowing the police to detect it.

Chiltern District Councillor Liz Walsh, Cabinet Member for Healthy Communities says: "Property marking is by far the best way to protect your valuables such as jewellery, laptops and antiques. If it's expensive, it's desirable so please get it marked."

South Bucks District Councillor Patrick Hogan, Portfolio Holder for Healthy Communities says: "Unfortunately Christmas offers a lot of opportunities for burglars, bikes and electronic items are worth a lot of money to opportunist thieves, but there are some simple steps people can take to reduce their chances of falling victim.

"A few minutes spent marking your valuables and registering them on Immobilise.com is time well-spent. You stand a much better chance of getting your item back in the unfortunate event of it being lost or stolen."

If you would like a free UV pen email communitysafety@chilternandsouthbucks.gov.uk (please note pens are limited to one per household and subject to availability).