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Protect Your Property

Click on a link below to find out more on how to Protect your Property

Download the 'Be Safe, Be Secure' booklet produced by the Home Office.

A practical guide to crime reduction and protecting yourself and your family, safeguarding your property and building safer communities.

Action Fraud is the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre and place to find out about fraud. If you feel you are the victim of an online shopping scam, you should report it to Action Fraud using the contact details below:

To understand what fraud is and the different types to be aware of, click here

The Action Fraud website contains information specifically for businesses, under the ‘corporate fraud’ section.

Telephone fraud has been blighting Dorset and also the rest of the UK, with criminals profiting from over £1 million of local residents' money since March 2014.

Dorset Police is tackling the problem under the banner of Op Luna - which is the Force's response to catching fraudsters who con people, particularly the elderly, out of thousands of pounds by pretending to be a police officer.

Visit the Operation Luna website to:

  • learn how to avoid becoming a victim of phone fraud
  • listen to a real life recording of a criminal speaking to his victim
  • read about witness appeals, arrests and developments of cases
  • download your own crime prevention leaflets and view literature which is available from your local Neighbourhood Policing Team

NEVER give out your bank details to anyone, no matter where they say they are calling from and if you doubt the validity of your caller, #HangUpOnFraudsters

Your property is probably your most valuable asset. As such, it can be an attractive target for fraudsters, which is why you need to do what you can to protect your ownership.

Land Registry is a government agency that maintains the register of property ownership in England and Wales. If your property is registered, making sure they can contact you easily will provide you with better protection against fraudsters.


What is property fraud?

Property fraud can happen in many ways. Fraudsters may attempt to acquire ownership of a property either by using a forged document to transfer it into their own name, or by impersonating the registered owner. Once they have raised money by mortgaging the property without the owner’s knowledge, they disappear without making repayments leaving the owner to deal with the consequences.

Owners who are concerned their property might be subject to a fraudulent sale or mortgage can quickly alert Land Registry and speak to specially trained staff for practical guidance about what to do next by calling their Property Fraud Line on 0300 006 7030. The line is open from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday.


Who is at risk?

In particular, fraudsters may target properties:

  • owned by a landlord, such as a buy-to-let owner or property developer
  • where the owner lives somewhere else for all or part of the year
  • where the owner is in temporary or long-term residential care
  • where the owner has died and the property is held in trust
  • which no longer have a mortgage.


How to protect yourself

  • If your home is unregistered, it is advisable to register it. Registering your land or property with Land Registry (for England and Wales)
  • shows proof of ownership
  • helps to protect your land if someone tries to make a claim on it
  • makes changes in ownership easier.

You can register land or property yourself although most people use a solicitor or conveyancer. Your mortgage provider might insist that you use a professional. For more information visit the land registry website.

Make sure that Land Registry can contact you wherever you live. This means giving them your up-to-date contact address and letting them know whenever it changes. This is because they may need to write to you when they receive an application regarding your property. You can have up to three addresses on your register. Updating your contact details is free.  For further information, please visit the land registry website.


Useful documents

Hundreds and thousands of pounds worth of recovered stolen property cannot be returned to the rightful owner as there is no means of identification. You can identify property by using your postcode, together with your house number or the first two letters of your house name.

Engrave or etch using an electric engraving tool or hand engraver. This method leaves a visible, permanent mark.

An acid etching kit is useful for many hard surfaces. Use it to etch or engrave your vehicle registration onto your in-car entertainment, details of make and model and the serial numbers, should be kept in your vehicle logbook, which should not be kept within your car, in case of theft.

Ultraviolet marking (invisible marking) glows clearly under an ultraviolet lamp. The marking is not totally invisible, and therefore should be used on surfaces not readily on view, for example the back, side, or base of a television or video player. Also it should be noted that the mark can fade in daylight and may need renewing.

Ceramic pens have been developed for marking china, glass, and other glazed surfaces.

For heavier items, such as pushchairs, cycles, and lawnmowers use a set of punches and a hammer.

Not all items are suitable for marking, jewellery and antiques, for example where attempting to mark them would damage or de-value the item.

Photographs of each item against a plain background with a ruler next to the item to give an idea of size are very useful. A video film of property in its usual place also proves useful, as your memory at a time of crisis may be unreliable.

Follow this link for more information on the various forms of property marking (20KB PDF)

Follow this link for practical information on how to mark your property (600KB PDF)

Immobilise is a national database which is the home of the UK National Property Register and Recovery Service. It is trusted by over 17 million UK subscribers who have registered over 22 million items of property. It is also endorsed by all 43 UK Police forces.

Visit immobilise.com to find out more information and register your property.

  • Keep your phone out of sight in your pocket or handbag when not in use
  • Use your phone's security lock code, if it has one
  • Some phones have an IMEI number which is a unique identifier for the phone; you can obtain this number by typing *#06# (star hash 06 hash) into your mobile phone and it will display a 15 digit number
  • Record details of your electronic serial number (ESN) and consider separate insurance
  • Property mark your phone with your postcode and door number to help police identify stolen ones
  • Report a lost or stolen phone to the police immediately
  • Inform your service provider if your phone is stolen or lost Festival and event

Download our "Keep your mobile phone safe" advice sheet


Out of your hands?

Out of Your Hands? is brought to you by Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum (MICAF), the Home Office and the National Mobile Phone Unit, to educate young people aged 7 to 16 on the responsible way to own, operate and safeguard your mobile phone.

Visit the website here

Most vehicle crime is carried out by opportunist thieves, who are experts at breaking into cars, vans and other vehicles quickly and efficiently and removing your property in just a few moments.

It can take between 10 – 20 seconds to break into a car, yet the damage can take much longer to rectify. The expense and inconvenience of a theft from a motor vehicle could be avoided if simple steps were taken to deter thieves.

Dorset Police has spoken to a convicted car thief who has passed on his tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of vehicle crime, whether you own a car, motor home or work vehicle.

For more information, please visit the Vehicle Crime web page

Festival and event organisers work with Dorset Police to prevent crime. Help us and yourselves by following this simple advice.

  • Only bring with you what you can afford to lose. There is no way to make a tent secure, so only bring what you absolutely need. Use on-site lock-ups, if available.
  • Don’t be tempted to leave valuables in your vehicle. Empty the glove box and leave it open to show thieves there is nothing of value inside.
  • Don’t challenge people looking through tents. Report them to event security, staff or police immediately.
  • Keep cash and possessions on you. Don’t keep all your money, bank cards and valuables together. Keep them in different pockets.
  • Don’t leave your backpack or handbag unattended.
  • Before going to sleep, place valuables in a bag and hide it in your sleeping bag with you.
  • Camp near friends. Introduce yourself to people in the neighbouring tents to build a community feeling and provide greater security around your tent.
  • Mark your property. Label your belongings, including your tent, with your house number and postcode. Thieves are after unidentifiable property. Make sure the markings are obvious and indelible. Before the event, register property such as mobile phones and cameras for free at immobilise.com. This will help the police to return stolen items to their rightful owner.
  • Protect your mobile phone. Do this now: on your mobile phone, key in *#06# and your unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number will be displayed. Make a note of this number so that if your phone is lost or stolen you can contact your service provider to have the phone immobilised. While on site keep your phone in a buttoned or zipped pocket, a secure bag, or use a lanyard to keep it secured to your clothing.
  • Report crime at the time. There will be police officers and event staff on site. Alternatively, call Dorset Police on 101. Only dial 999 if life is in danger or crime is in progress.

Click here for more information on festival personal safety and health advice from the NHS

Click here for information on how to report lost property and enquire about items that have potentially been handed to the police.