NEIGHBOURHOOD SUPPORT NEW ZEALAND
Serial Number Recording
Dishonesty offending amounts to about 60 per cent of reported crime, and includes burglaries and thefts from vehicles. The goods most attractive to burglars and thieves (sometimes referred to as 'hot property'), are small, valuable, easily taken and concealed, and easily disposed of because they are popular and sought after. These include items such as jewellery, tools, CD and DVD players, CDs and DVDs, iPod and other MP3 players, mobile phones, handheld and laptop computers, game consoles and video games, and digital and video cameras.
Police recover thousands of dollars' worth of stolen property every year. Unfortunately many items cannot be returned because the owners did not record the serial numbers or mark the property so it could be identified as belonging to them. Worse still, the property may have to be left with the thief.
People who can provide the serial numbers of stolen goods to police have a much greater chance of having items returned. Some insurance companies waiver the no-claim excess for clients who provide serial number records when they report a loss.
There are various ways you can identify your property. These include engraving items with your driverís licence number and keeping photographs of property that canít be engraved. Police suggest keeping valuation certificates or purchase receipts and descriptions of your valuable items in a safe place for future reference.
In some places, Police and Neighbourhood Support are promoting ďOperation SNAPĒ (Serial Number Action Partnership). This free initiative enables anyone to record serial numbers and other unique identifying details of their valuable goods. Details are securely stored in an electronic database from where they can be quickly and easily retrieved by owners to give to Police if property is lost or stolen. This assists recovery of stolen goods and identifying of burglars and thieves. For more information and to register your goods, visit www.SNAP.org.nz
When you have engraved your valuable property in your home or recorded the serial numbers of items, Neighbourhood Support can provide you with a WARNING sticker to put on a window. This helps reduce the risk of burglary because criminals know they are more likely to get caught or traced if they handle and attempt to sell identifiable goods.
Several organisations can record serial numbers, take photographs and store valuable identifying information for you. This may be a good option for some people.
Microdots are becoming a popular way of discouraging theft of property and the unlawful taking of motor vehicles. Microdots are the size of a pin head and are printed with a code that is unique to your property or vehicle. They are brushed or sprayed on to the property to be protected.
You can choose to make your own property record. You will need to record information on your property such as: item, make, model, serial number, colour, identifying features, date purchased, where purchased, price paid, identifying number (driverís licence).