Christmas shoppers in a number of Chesterfield stores are being helped to prevent their goods becoming a gift for burglars by the Borough’s Community Safety Partnership.
Midlands Co-op, Boots and WH Smith in town, PC World and Currys on Ravenside Retail Park and Halfords on Netto Retail Park have agreed to give out security packs to people buying items such as satellite navigation systems, MP3 players, mobile phones, games consoles and other items that are often targeted by thieves.
The packs have been paid for and supplied by Chesterfield Community Safety Partnership as part of its Window Shopping campaign. They contain a UV marker pen, stickers to show items have been marked and a record card for people to keep a log of serial numbers and, in the case of mobile phones, the IMEA number which is printed beneath the battery and which can be used by the network provider to block the phone if it is stolen.
Dave Elliott, Deputy Manager of Midlands Co-op’s Chesterfield Department Store, said: “We are more than happy to give security packs to shoppers in the store. We think it is a very good idea and hope that it helps goods remain with their rightful owners.
“Customers have said what a good idea they are. They are happy that they are free of charge. They were interested in the mobile phone section of the pack as some customers, especially the elderly, were unsure what to do if they had their phones stolen.”
Chesterfield Community Safety Partnership has bought 5,000 of the packs at a cost of just over £3,000. As well as asking high street stores to give them away it is inviting Borough residents to collect one for themselves from the Town Hall. It will also retain some to hand out at burglary awareness-raising events next year.
Emma Orrock, Assistant Community Safety Officer with the Partnership and lead officer on the Window Shopping campaign, said: “We are urging everyone when they buy goods as gifts to put the owner’s postcode and house number on all of them with a UV marker pen and we hope that giving the packs away will encourage everyone to do this.
“Security marking, helps people to get stolen goods back, greatly assists the police in making arrests and prosecuting offenders and may deter would-be thieves.”
“We have had a very positive response to this part of our Window Shopping campaign from stores and we are very grateful to them for helping us to deliver it.”