Help us to help you crack burglary by marking your valuables
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A crackdown, to prevent burglary and encourage people to protect their homes and property, is being launched again this autumn by Essex Police.
The crackdown encourage people to mark their valuables to make them less attractive to thieves which in turn reduces burglary. It also introduces policing tactics to catch criminals not used across Essex on this scale before.
The operation has already seen huge success in Essex. In June this year our property marking campaign, encouraging residents to protect their belongings, resulted in a 26% decrease in burglary across Essex.
This month, we are continuing to raise awareness of property marking and how it can help residents keep their belongings safe.
This week, we have deployed dozens of officers in a number of towns across the county to help us reduce burglary to build on this summer’s success following our previous decrease in burglary after our last campaign.
Our operational activity will be focused in ten areas across the county. We will be focusing on areas including Basildon, Billericay, Buckhurst Hill, Canvey Island, Clacton, Colchester, Southend, St Osyth, Stanford-le-Hope and Tilbury so we can work best with residents to have the most successful outcome to reduce burglary in Essex.
Property marking is a proven deterrent to thieves and it makes it harder for criminals to sell on stolen goods, which in turn deters them from burgling homes and businesses. Data suggests the use of property marking products significantly increase the chance of convicting a suspect of burglary with products like SmartWater and SelectaDNA having a 100% conviction rate.
Residents can protect their property by marking it with both hidden and visible marking. Hidden marking can be anything from UV pens to logging and photographing items you own. Visible marking can be anything from engraving an item to using a permanent pen to label goods with a postcode. Residents and business owners can also purchase intruder sprays. These sprays cover intruders with a forensically detectable liquid which shows up on suspects when they are arrested and brought into our custody suite.
As part of the operation, second-hand shops are working in partnership with us to make property ‘too hot to handle’. Every item taken to second-hand shops will be checked for each type of property marking. Every suspect that attends our custody will be scanned for traces of forensic marking liquids which are available to the public.
Chief Superintendent Ewen Wilson, Essex Police’s lead for burglary, said: “Burglary and theft is an intrusive and personal crime that effects our communities. When a victim has their home burgled it has a real impact on their feeling of safety and can take many months or years for those targeted to feel truly safe again in their own home.
“Our previous operational activity was a success and resulted in a significant decrease in burglary. This is testament to the fact that property marking, which is such a simple thing to do, can make a difference to our communities, make residents feel safer and hopefully prevent many people from having to go through the heartbreak of having their home broken into and valuables stolen.
“Property marking deters burglars from stealing it in the first place by making valuables too hot to handle. We are encouraging residents to mark their property as well as visit our website to read and share our crime prevention advice. Working together we can all play our part to tackle burglary.
“We want to educate the public about security measures they can take. But we also want criminals to know that we are making life harder for them as property marking makes it much easier for us to catch them and bring them to justice. There is a clear message to criminals: the chance of getting caught for burglary in Essex has just gone through the roof!”
Our campaign video explains how property marking works and how we use it to tackle burglary, theft and the selling of stolen goods.
We’re encouraging residents to ‘talk about crime’ together by sharing our crime prevention advice with their neighbours, friends, family and work colleagues to help us keep Essex safe.