26 Oct 2023 11:55:49
Have you ever stumbled upon a valuable item like a ring, bicycle, or mobile phone while out and about? It can be an exciting discovery, but what should you do next? Understanding the legal course of action when you find something of value is essential to ensure you act responsibly and ethically. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the steps and legal guidelines to follow when you find valuables in the UK.
Step 1: Report the Find
If you find a licence or document with an individual’s address on it, post it back to them. If there is no address but an issuing authority, such as a passport or blue badge, mail it back to the source. For anything else, visit your local police website – they all have links for reporting found property these days. They will ask questions about the find and offer further guidance and next steps.
Step 2: If the police don’t require a report
In situations where the police do not require a report for the found item, your next step involves several important actions to identify the owner:
Check for Identification Labels: Look for any visible markings that could help identify the owner. This includes Immobilise labels, which may feature a QR code or a barcoded serial number, indicating registration on the Immobilise national property register. Additionally, be on the lookout for other third-party marks or labels that might signify registration with a different service.
Visit Immobilise Website: If an Immobilise label is present, visit immobilise.com/search and enter the item’s details. This can help reconnect the item with its rightful owner while keeping their personal information confidential. Through this system, your contact details can be passed on to the owner if they are found.
Make Reasonable Enquiries: Independently of label checks, make reasonable efforts to find the owner. This could include asking people nearby, in offices, or shops, and considering leaving a note with your details. If the item was found on private property, such as a shop, pub, or workplace, inform the owner of the land or building.
Step 3: Where neither of the above applies
If you have exhausted the above, the law becomes a little complicated. If you have posted a notice anywhere or asked on local social media groups, we suggest you wait 90 days. If you haven’t heard from anyone after this time, you could consider selling it. However, UK law states that if the rightful owner can prove it’s theirs, you are liable to them for the proceeds, less reasonable storage costs for up to 6 years after the sale. However, this is unlikely to be an issue, mainly since the police process captures higher-value property.
04 Oct 2023 15:44:18
As the vibrant tapestry of autumnal foliage and the seasonal festivities step into the limelight, we also bid farewell to the extended daylight hours as the clocks retreat. Regrettably, these darker evenings often offer opportunities for would-be burglars. Statistics unveil a noticeable uptick in burglary incidents as autumn ushers in, with the recent analysis of home insurance claims drawing a connection to the changing time.
It’s somewhat surprising that many homeowners remain oblivious to the heightened risks that this season brings. A recent survey led by Yale, a renowned authority in home security and the originator of National Home Security Month, disclosed that 62% of Britons harbour no more significant concerns about their home’s security in winter than in summer.
The seasonal transition presents the ideal time to evaluate your home security to ensure the safety of your property during autumn and beyond.
Step 1: Enhance Outdoor security
When fortifying your home’s security, it is prudent to examine your outdoor spaces. Your residence’s exterior is the first defence against potential intruders, and its condition sends a clear message about your commitment to security.
Start by assessing the illumination near your home during the darker hours. Poorly lit exteriors offer malefactors the cover they seek, making it paramount to keep your home’s frontage well-illuminated and visible.
Curiously, only 38% of Yale’s recent survey respondents reported using security lighting. Many homeowners could benefit from investing in outdoor motion sensor lighting or employing timers for indoor lighting to simulate occupancy during absence.
The gates enclosing your property represent another potential point of vulnerability for burglars. A neglected or corroded gate can signal lax security and easy access to your home. Ensuring the gate is in good condition is crucial, and fortifying it with high-quality padlocks from a reputable brand can provide an extra layer of security.
In addition to gate security, it is imperative to maintain sturdy fencing around your premises. Broken or missing fence panels can create chinks in your armour, so it’s advisable to replace or repair them for enhanced security.
Only 40% of respondents in Yale’s survey indicated using high fences to bolster home protection, which presents an opportunity for homeowners to enhance security.
A straightforward step to deter opportunistic criminals is securely storing tools and garden equipment. Housing these items in a garden shed or garage ensures they remain out of sight and out of reach. Investing in a cost-effective shed and garage alarm system can provide an added layer of protection.
Furthermore, the upkeep of well-groomed hedges, bushes, and shrubs can discourage burglars from using them for concealment. Pruning low-hanging branches and planting hawthorn bushes can create an additional barrier against potential intruders.
Step 2: Secure All Entry Points
Once you have fortified the exterior of your home, it is crucial to ensure that all locks around your property are in good working order. This includes door and window locks and padlocks on sheds and garages.
The front door is a common point of entry for opportunistic criminals, so it’s essential to have a robust cylinder lock. Consider opting for a 3 Star Cylinder, which offers the highest level of protection and displays its quality to potential intruders.
Additionally, regularly check the condition of window locks and ensure they remain locked, especially at night or when you leave your home.
Step 3: Safeguard Outbuildings
Beyond the security of windows and doors, prioritising the protection of garages, sheds, and outbuildings is equally vital. Ensuring these spaces are locked with high-quality padlocks represents a straightforward measure that safeguards valuable tools and equipment.
A recent survey uncovered that only 15% of respondents considered garage security a pressing concern. However, these areas often house valuable items, making it prudent to invest in their safeguarding.
Consider installing security cameras or a CCTV system to monitor your property and garden remotely for a more intelligent security solution. Modern smart security cameras offer convenient remote monitoring via smartphone apps, providing homeowners with peace of mind.
While only 20% of Brits currently use CCTV cameras in their gardens, these devices act as effective deterrents against opportunistic criminals, making them a good investment.
Step 4: Secure the Interior
Following the enhancement of security measures on the outside of your home and garden, it is imperative to secure the interior. A smart alarm system can be a superb addition to your home security setup. These alarms safeguard your home and can extend protection to your shed and other outbuildings.
Smart alarms offer features such as mobile notifications when triggered and remote control via smartphone apps, enabling homeowners to monitor their property from virtually anywhere.
Consider augmenting your security with indoor cameras for added peace of mind. These user-friendly devices facilitate remote monitoring of various rooms through smartphone apps, providing extra protection for your possessions and pets.
Step 5: Strengthen Community Bonds
While smart security systems are valuable, we can’t always be present to watch over our homes. Building solid relationships with your neighbours can be a valuable asset, as they are more likely to notice and report any suspicious activity in the neighbourhood.
In some cases, joining Neighbourhood Watch schemes in your local area can enhance collective security efforts, reduce crime rates, and monitor suspicious activity.
Churchill Home Insurance, 2021
A poll of 2000 UK Adults (Nationally Representative) run by OnePoll, commissioned by Yale UK, 2022
13 Jun 2023 10:44:49
37% of people have had a valuable item lost or stolen at a UK festival, costing an average of £146.35– ComparetheMarket.com, 2022
1. Before you go, protect your belongings by registering them on Immobilise.com, improving your chances of getting them back if they’re lost or stolen.
2. Leave unnecessary valuables at home where possible. Some people even buy a cheap phone to take to festivals, leaving their more expensive handset safely back at home.
3. Keep your wits about you, especially when you’re in a crowd. Consider using a bumbag or money belt, instead of using a rucksack or keeping valuables in your pockets. If you do use a rucksack, wear it around your front in crowds.
4. Never leave valuable items in your tent when you’re not there. It’s worth checking whether there are secure lockers available to use instead. When you’re sleeping, keep valuables at the bottom of your sleeping bag.
5. Check in advance whether traders will take card payments or whether the festival you’re going to is running a cashless scheme, where you can load your wristband with credit beforehand. This way, you’ll avoid the need to carry cash.
For more handy festival tips, particularly if you’re a first-time festival-goer, visit https://www.festivalsafe.com/information/
12 May 2023 13:47:38
It’s true, there is safety in numbers. When neighbours pull together, the whole community becomes stronger. Every step you can take to protect your home, will also be a step in helping to protect your community. Don’t let your road become Easy Street!
Numbers matter. The number of people volunteering within a community, the number of police officers tackling crime, the number of people willing to do the right thing.
Another type of number matters too; serial numbers. They are the easiest possible way to identify an item. When police recover lost or potentially stolen items, they can enter the serial number – or any other unique identifier, for that matter – into a national database called the NMPR, to try to track down the rightful owner.
Did you know it’s completely free to add your valuables to this database? It’s quick and easy; you create an account on the Immobilise.com website and add the details of your items. Immobilise is the world’s biggest FREE ownership register, with over 35 million items already registered. If your valuable doesn’t already have a serial number or other unique identifier, you can add one by using a marking product such as a UV pen or asset label.
Registering your items doesn’t just safeguard your property and improve your chances of being reunited with them if they go missing. There are several other fantastic benefits; not just for you, but for your wider community as well:
By registering your valuable items and being part of a community committed to crime prevention, you can increase the chances of recovering stolen goods and deterring criminals. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action – start protecting your property today, by registering it on immobilise.com
12 May 2023 11:59:34
Founded in 2003, it’s been 20 years since the launch of Immobilise – and it’s now the world’s largest free register of possession ownership details! Over 25 million users worldwide have registered over 35 million items of property in that time.
By logging your possessions, you can increase your chances of them being returned to you if they are recovered. With close links to police and other law enforcement agencies, officers will routinely check the database to try to match recovered lost or stolen items with their rightful owners. Any updates you make – such as flagging an item as lost or stolen – are immediately available to police nationally and keeping a detailed log of your valuables can help to simplify insurance claims and police reports.
The Immobilise register is also linked with CheckMEND, the second-hand stolen property database, which can help detect stolen items and prevent them from being traded.
Marking the 20th anniversary, Les Gray, one of the founders of Immobilise, took a moment to reflect on the platform’s success.
“When we first launched Immobilise, we knew its potential. To watch it flourish over the years and become the critical tool against crime that we knew it could be, has been really quite special,” Les commented.
“We’ve achieved a lot in the past 20 years, but there’s still so much more we can do. We’re excited about the future of Immobilise and the role it can play in making our communities safer.”
Any item with a unique identifier can be registered on Immobilise – from mobile phones and laptops to bikes, jewellery and musical instruments. If your item doesn’t have a serial number, or anything else that might help to identify it, using a marking product like a UV pen or asset label could prove useful. Adding a touch of uniqueness will help to match the item back to you as the owner. A number of marking products are sold through the Immobilise online shop, but the system will accept any identifiers, from any third party.
Visibly marking items as being registered – through labels or window stickers for your home, for example – can even help to deter thieves.
05 May 2023 08:39:37
We are thrilled to announce that Recipero is expanding its services to Australia with the launch of Immobilise.au – the free online property register.
All Australians can now join our extensive worldwide community, securely registering valuables such as phones, electronics, bikes, jewellery, and more.
Immobilise.au is FREE to use and is just one part of the Recipero crime reduction ecosystem. It offers a user-friendly, intuitive platform that allows you to build up a secure inventory of all of your treasured possessions. You can then notify Immobilise if your valuables are lost or stolen and download keepership certificates to help prove ownership when making insurance claims or police reports.
If your valuables are recovered after being lost or stolen, there is a far greater chance of them being returned to you.
Visit www.immobilise.au now and join the millions of people around the world who have already registered their valued items for free.
06 Feb 2023 21:00:44
Internet safety can feel like quite an overwhelming topic at times, with an ever-changing landscape of technology and a growing number of scams and threats to avoid.
There are a number of simple and straightforward steps you can take to keep yourself safe online. Below, we’ve listed 5 things you can do right now, to start you off on the right path. Best of all, they’re all completely free.
The ‘have I been pwned?’ website is a simple and free resource that will tell you if you have been put at risk due to online accounts being compromised (“pwned”) in a data breach.
Enter your email address and it will tell you which data breaches your account was involved in and offer suggestions on what to do next. You can also subscribe to updates so you can be notified of any further breaches and quickly change your password on the affected account.
Even if you have strong passwords, you should turn on 2-step verification where possible – particularly important for accounts such as email, banking and online shopping, all of which store sensitive personal information.
By setting up 2-step (also known as 2-factor) authentication, you will need to enter a code, or use fingerprint or face scan technology, to prove that it’s really you. It only takes a few minutes to set up and will make you much safer online.
Setting up ‘Find My’ tracking for your Apple or Android device will allow you to locate it if it’s ever misplaced. In the worst-case scenario where the item lands into the wrong hands, you can also erase your Apple device remotely, limiting the amount of damage done.
How well do you really know Linda? The woman you met on holiday in 2015 and haven’t spoken to since? Now might be a good time to go through your social contacts and make everything a little more ‘slimline’.
Keep your accounts private where possible, think carefully about what you post and don’t share your holiday photos from the sun lounger. Wait until you’re back, so as not to advertise your empty home.
Immobilise is the world’s largest FREE register of possession ownership details. It can be used by members of the public and businesses to register valued possessions or company assets. Ownership details are then viewable on the police national property database, available to 40,000+ police officers up and down the country, when they are looking to reunite recovered items with their rightful owners.
Updates are immediately available to the police nationally and you can easily manage your account online, adding or removing items or flagging them as lost or stolen. It can help to simplify claims and police reports with certificates of ownership and could even stop the sale of stolen valuables by alerting sister database CheckMEND if an item goes missing.
All you need to register your tech is the make, model and any unique identifier, such as a serial number.
Register your valuables for free on Immobilise.com.
08 Dec 2022 12:47:10
Whilst most see the festive period as a time for goodwill to all men, unfortunately – as anyone who has watched ‘Home Alone’ will know – thieves don’t take annual leave. In fact, long winter nights, festive distractions and busier social calendars can offer burglars more opportunities than any other time of year.
Luckily, there are lots of precautions you can take, without going to the same lengths as Kevin McCallister.
Twinkling fairy lights don’t need to be just for decoration! Any form of outdoor lighting – from a motion sensor security light to dressed-up evergreens – can help protect your home by lighting up the exterior and removing the cover of darkness that thieves love. It makes approaching your home too conspicuous for a burglar.
However, many enthusiastic festive house dressers’ common mistake is feeding extension cables through partially open windows; criminals know to look for this vulnerability. When it comes to outdoor lighting, if you don’t have an external plug outlet, opt for solar or battery-operated lights instead.
Bin collections over the Christmas and New Year period are normally at different times. If you can’t take packaging to a recycling centre, make sure you only put your rubbish out just before the collection and do your best to fold boxes inside-out so that they don’t advertise any new contents of your home to thieves.
For thieves, social media can be used to scout potential targets. If you usually publish your whereabouts during the holiday season – including any plans to be away from home – do think twice before posting this year, as you could be giving a potential burglar knowledge of when your house is going to be empty. Uploaded photos of pricey Christmas gifts can also be a problem. It’s always worth double-checking your privacy settings on social channels and, where possible, keeping your profile private.
The Office for National Statistics reported in 2020 that windows were used to gain access in 30% of burglaries, so installing a few deadbolts and new window hinges could increase the security of your home. 1 in 7 burglars also walked straight through an unlocked door; where possible, it’s worth keeping your doors locked even when you’re at home.
If you’re going out for the evening, you could use a plug timer on your lights to give the illusion of someone being at home or go one step further and invest in a Fake TV device.
You should also always ensure valuable items are out of sight.
Using window stickers to highlight the fact that your possessions are security marked and registered on Immobilise is a savvy move. It warns thieves that your goods are traceable and not worth the risk of stealing. If you have a security camera, a dog or are a member of a Neighbourhood Watch area, these are also good things to advertise to any unwelcome visitors!
Be sure to cancel any deliveries. Arrange for a trusted neighbour to park on the driveway to help create the impression someone is at home. As mentioned above, make use of light timers and devices like Fake TVs.
Make sure that garden tools or ladders are not left lying around or accessible from an unlocked garden shed; they could be used to force entry into your home. Garages are often targets for burglars looking for tools, bikes and gardening equipment – if you have a garage, make sure it is locked and items such as bikes or tools are secured. Make sure that anything portable or valuable is recorded on Immobilise.
Burglars know all of the best hiding places for spare keys, so don’t put them under rocks, in flowerpots, or above door ledges. Instead, give the spare key to family or a trusted neighbour. Many houses now have alarms; make sure yours is on and protecting your home when you are away or out for the evening, where possible.
Most electricals have a unique code, such as a serial number which can be used to register the item. Mobile phones have an IMEI number, which can be easily found by dialling *#06#.