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New move to recover stolen property

Thursday, 18th March 2010.

Suffolk police are joining with businesses in the west of the county to crack down on theft and return more stolen goods to their rightful owners, through a new initiative.

The Western Area Dealer Scheme began on Tuesday and is focused on the recovery of stolen goods and the identification of people involved in this type of criminality.

Businesses that deal with members of the public who may offer goods in return for payment, such as scrap yards, auction houses and second hand shops can sign up to the scheme.

They will be given a poster to display, advising customers that anyone trying to sell stolen items will be prosecuted.

Any police officer who is investigating the theft of an identifiable item in West Suffolk can notify the scheme.

The scheme will in turn tell the relevant businesses what has been taken and how to identify the property if they are offered it for sale.

PC Dave Murphy, who has set up the scheme, said: “We will quickly be able to pass on descriptions of stolen property by e-mail or telephone to those businesses that are most likely to come into contact with it.

"These notifications will be as thorough as possible, including the quality of the item, its condition and any identifying marks, and if we’ve got photographs of the property we will distribute those too.

"We will also target the messages, so for instance auction rooms will be told about antiques and scrap dealers will be told about cabling, but not vice versa.

“We are also asking those companies that sign up to call us immediately about any property they are offered which they believe may be stolen, or about any suspicious behaviour.

"Officers will be able to quickly attend to recover the items and apprehend offenders.

“I would encourage people to record as much detail as they can about any valuable items they may have in their homes or businesses, such as serial numbers, any postcode marking, or identifiable marks or damage.

"Items such as mobile phones, bicycles, laptops, sat navs and mp3 players can also be registered on the national property database at www.immobilise.com

"The more information we can pass to businesses
through the Western Area Dealer Scheme, the more likely you are to be re-united with your property if you do become a victim of crime and the offender tries to sell on your possessions.

“We recognise that only a small percentage of stolen property is disposed of via legitimate outlets, but also that it can be difficult
for those businesses to know if they’re being offered stolen goods.

"I hope the scheme will be supported by local companies in a bid to make it harder for criminals to sell on stolen items.”

To join the Western Area Dealer scheme, businesses in Forest Heath, St Edmundsbury, Babergh and Mid Suffolk can e-mail
westernareadealers@suffolk.pnn.police.uk or contact PC Murphy on 01284 774100.

Anyone who believes they are being offered stolen goods for sale should contact Suffolk Police, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555
111. Dial 999 if a crime is in progress.

Haverhill Online News

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