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South Bucks District Council
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Make property marking your New Year's resolution

Chiltern District Council and South Bucks District Council's joint Community Safety team is urging people to take a few minutes in January to security mark any valuable new gifts they may have been given over Christmas.

Many residents will have been lucky enough to have received iPads, tablets, cameras, games consoles and new bikes for Christmas, all of which are desirable to thieves. Marking property is an excellent deterrent, as it can be difficult to re-sell stolen property if it has been security marked. It is also easier for the Police to return stolen goods to their rightful owners in the event of it being recovered after a burglary.

Property 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, tools or garden machinery can be permanently marked using an engraver or etching kit. And lastly, don't forget to register your gifts on Immobilise.com. Most consumer electricals have a unique identification code such as a serial number or for mobile phones an IMEI number. You can find out your IMEI by dialling *#06# on your mobile.

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. If you would like to purchase these products please email the community safety team at communitysafety@chiltern.gov.uk

January is a good a time of year to check that you're fully covered by your home insurance policy. Find out what level of cover your policy offers and check that your contents cover is high enough to cover the value of any new expensive gifts. Your existing policy may not automatically cover the theft of expensive items like laptops, digital cameras, bikes, watches and jewellery. Single items worth over a certain amount (usually £1,500 - £2,000) will probably need to be individually specified on a policy.

If you've treated yourself to some extra gifts in the post-Christmas sales hang onto receipts, make a note of any serial numbers and take photographs of high value items. If they are ever lost or stolen, you may be asked by your insurer to provide 'reasonable evidence' that the lost item(s) belonged to you.

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