People are being encouraged to keep new Christmas gifts safe by marking valuables with their postcode and house number.
While property marking cannot prevent a theft from happening, it can act as a deterrent to thieves as re-selling stolen goods which have been property marked is difficult.
Marking items with an address also enables stolen property to be returned to its owners more quickly.
Residents can mark their property using a UV pen, which can only be seen by using a UV lamp, or by engraving a postcode onto items like garden equipment and power tools.
Other top tips to keep your valuables safe include:
• Don’t leave packaging from new valuables such as computers and televisions visible with your general rubbish
• Secure bikes by locking them to an immovable object inside a locked shed or garage
• Keep valuables hidden out of sight and not viewable from windows
• Register items like laptops, tablets and smartphones online via www.immobilise.com
Chief Inspector for community safety Neill Waring said: “Overall we have seen a reduction in burglaries across the county, which is fantastic news. But it’s important that people remain vigilant to deter would-be burglars, especially in the period just after Christmas when people will have received gifts either of high monetary or sentimental value.
“Property marking is an excellent deterrent, as it can be difficult to re-sell stolen property if it has been property marked. It is also easier for the force to return stolen goods to their rightful owners if they have been marked with an address.”
For more information, or for a free property marking kit from Bedfordshire Police, email email@example.com
Alternatively you can request one from your local Neighbourhood Watch group. To find your local group visit www.ourwatch.org.uk.