WEARSIDERS can get their property protected at the touch of a button, thanks to new technology.
Sunderland police are urging residents to sign up to a scheme that could soon be rolled out across other UK forces.
And beat bobbies covering the area will be hosting a series of events where residents can log their possessions with a free national property database.
The Hermes kit is a portable netbook computer and barcode scanner, which enables police to capture and instantly register personal property quickly, accurately and securely to its national database and national property register Immobilise.
It means when stolen property is recovered, police can search the database and reunite it with its owners.
Neighbourhood Inspector Tony Carty said: “The Hermes kit is a quick and easy way of registering people’s property and building up a database of information which is safe and secure.
“It helps us identify recovered property as being stolen and reunite it with the rightful owners.
“It acts as a deterrent to thieves and helps ensure criminals can be dealt with appropriately – if they are identified instantly as being in possession of stolen property.
“We want to encourage residents to take full advantage of this system and bring property to our events in a bid to keep their property secure.
“We can log laptops, mobile phones, bikes, games consoles and other valuables.”
All of the registered goods are kept on a secure database that cannot be accessed by police or partner agencies unless they are trying to match a stolen item.
CSO Richard Catterall, who covers Hylton Castle, is encouraging people to use it.
He said: “We will be at a series of events where we can register people’s property for them.”
For details, visit www.northumbria.police.uk/advice.