VACANT properties awaiting tenants in Northumberland are being protected from burglary by Selectamark’s visible permanent marking system.
Following a recent increase in metal theft of items such as boilers and copper piping in the towns of Ashington and Amble, Northumbria Police are urging landlords, letting agents and owners of empty properties to have their fittings and fixtures marked before thieves get their hands on them.
The scheme is being funded by Northumbria Police and involves crime prevention advisers visiting properties and using a special kit to mark the items with a unique reference number. This is kept on a secure database and can be used to trace stolen boilers or pipes. It also allows police to link criminals caught stealing metal to the exact crime scenes.
Northumbria Police crime prevention adviser, Sandra Killeen, said: “Vacant properties can be an opportunity for thieves as they see them as an easier target than a house that’s occupied. But by registering for this scheme, and taking some simple steps, you can make your property less of a target.’’
She continued: “Burglars should be aware that metal items in many of our local homes are now permanently and visibly marked using an indelible compound and this immediately devalues the items, making them harder to sell on. It is impossible for a burglar to remove the marking and it will be immediately obvious to a police officer if someone has tried to do that.”
Ms Killeen added: “Metal thieves need to be aware that they are much more likely to get caught than get away with property from empty homes in the areas we have targeted.”