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People who get a new bike for Christmas are being offered a free present – in the New Year!

Police in Sefton are teaming up with a local bike shop to offer free security marking for bikes and other valuable property.   Officers are opening up Formby police station between 1pm and 3pm on Friday 3rd to help people register their belongings on a secure police database and mark them up to deter thieves.   And the day before (Thursday 2nd January), also between 1pm and 3pm, they will be at a bike shop in Station Road, Ainsdale offering the same thing.   Ainsdale and Formby neighbourhood inspector, Jim Atherton, said: “This is all about protecting your property and detering thieves.   “At this time of year people will be  getting lots of new stuff for Christmas, much of which will be expensive and valuable to them.

“The last thing we want is find people having their things stolen by ruthless criminals who don’t care about the misery they cause by helping themselves to things that aren’t theirs.   “By coming along to these free events, you will be helped by my officers in registering your bikes, electronics and computers on a secure database that the police have access to.

“If your property is marked as being registered with, it may deter a thief, and if it is still stolen but later recovered by the police, we’ll know straightaway who the rightful owner is.” works by allowing police forces throughout the country permanent access to a database containing the serial numbers of every item of property registered on it. The database links the serial number to the contact details of the person who registered it.

If officers stop a suspected burglar or robber in possession of stolen property, they can make a quick call to Immobilise or a check on the website so see who it really does belong to.   Police in Sefton are also encouraging cyclists to put a good quality bike lock on their Christmas list and, when storing their bikes in sheds or garages, ensure the building has good quality locks and an alarm. Keeping your bike and other valuables away from windows and out of sight under a cover is also recommended.

Sefton Homewatch is also encouraging people to protect their property using Smartwater. Call Merseyside Police on 0151 777 3419 or visit the website to find out more.

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