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Property Marking and Registration

To ensure property has a chance of being returned to its rightful owners, we recommend following the below advice.

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  • Take a full inventory of your valuables, electronics, tools and gadgets.
  • Note down any specific things about them this should include: coloration, identifying marks, serial or other unique identifying numbers and measurements.
  • Take pictures of your valuables from different angles.
  • If you have receipts, take pictures of them and keep the originals safe.
  • Get expensive items valued and the value agreed by your insurance company.
  • For electrical items, take pictures and note down the serial and model numbers.
  • Keep this information in a safe place. You can store digital information and photographs safely online for free. Keep the original documents in a safe place such as in a safe. See our guide on Arts, Antiques and Valuable Items for further information.

For more advice, including details of the types of property marking available, please consult the following:  Domestic Forensic Property Marking & Identification Guide [5MB]

Property Registration

You can register your property for free using Immobilise. This is a database supported by the police and used by many organisations who trade in second-hand goods. There are over 30 million items registered already!

Property Marking

Marking your property (and advertising that it is marked) is proven to reduce its attractiveness to a burglar.

If you are considering marking valuable items, please consult a specialist. Basic property marking kits are available from Immobilise.

Traditional property marking:

  • UV pens: this is the most common property marking method. The mark is almost invisible unless put under a UV light, but it is prone to fading over time or rubbing off.
  • Etching, engraving and punching is best used for less valuable or agricultural items such as lawnmowers, power tools and garden tools.
  • Ceramic permanent marker: an alternative method for marking glass and china. It reduces the risk of surface damage but be aware that any mark could reduce an item's value.

Secured by Design lists products and services that are approved by the police.