Property marking

Mark all valuable electrical items and sentimental property from your house, garage, shed and vehicles.

Mark it, register it, keep it. Don’t regret it!

property-markingMarking your property is an extremely effective method of deterring thieves from stealing your property.

If your property is clearly identified it will be more difficult for the thief to sell and often reduces the value to the thief.

Marking your property also increases the chances of having it returned to you in the event of it being lost or stolen. 

What property should I mark?

Mark all valuable electrical items and sentimental property in your house, garage, shed and vehicles.

Electrical items such as:

  • Flat screen TVs
  • Laptops/computers
  • Satellite navigation systems
  • Games consoles
  • MP3 players
  • Mobile phones
  • Digital cameras
  • Video cameras
  • Audio systems

Other valuable items such as:

  • Jewellery
  • Bikes
  • Power tools
  • Lawnmowers
  • Sporting equipment

Why should I mark my property?

If your valuables are stolen, you may be able to replace your TV and DVD player, but what about items with sentimental value?

If you were burgled, would you be able to describe your valuables in detail to the police or insurance company?

Every year, police recover property worth hundreds of pounds but because it can’t be identified, it is not returned to its rightful owners. This also means that police officers cannot prove that they were stolen, and will mean thieves profit from selling your valuables.

Don’t make it easy for a criminal – mark your property.

How do I mark my property?

It is very easy – mark your property with a clear identification mark, which cannot be erased easily.  Use your house name or number followed by the postcode e.g. 75 EX2 7TG.

Where do I mark my property?

Where you mark your property is important.  If you want the mark to be out of sight choose somewhere behind or underneath the article, but make sure the police can find it.

Types of property marking available

There are several ways to mark your property depending on the property you want to mark.

There is a wide variety of property marking kits available to buy on the internet from invisible options like UV pens to permanent visible markings like engraving. 

Ultra-violet marking pens – invisible and semi permanent

An ultra-violet (UV) pen puts an invisible mark on your property, which can only be seen under UV light.

UV marking is one of the most popular methods of marking property, as it is an inexpensive way of marking property, which doesn’t reduce the value.

UV ink can fade over a period of 12 months if exposed to strong sunlight or heat.  Marking should be reapplied on a regular basis.

Mark it, protect it, don’t regret it

Property marking solutions - invisible and permanent

There are different types of solutions that can be used for marking property.  These solutions contain unique elements of either:

  1. DNA
  2. UV
  3. Micro dot

Once you have put this clear solution on your property it can only be visible under UV light.  When you’ve marked your property and registered your contact details on the company’s database this makes the property traceable and identifiable to you and only you.

This is suitable for a wide variety of property at home, in your vehicle, garage and shed.  It can be used on all electrical equipment, sentimental items such as jewellery, antiques, and paintings and on motorised vehicles, bikes and machinery.

Marking your property makes it traceable and less attractive to thieves.

Engraving techniques – permanent and visible

  • Engraving
    Property can be engraved by using scribing pens, ceramic marking pens or electric hand engravers.
  • Etching
    This is a method that applies a unique reference to your property using a chemical solution and stencil.

You can use either of these methods to mark china, glass, any glazed surfaces, bikes, lawnmowers, engines and other heavy metal objects.

Labels – semi permanent and visible

Labels can be applied as a visible deterrent to property.  They can be tamper resistant or glued on with specialist adhesive that is difficult to remove.  Some products leave a UV trace if removed.

These will act as deterrent to thieves as well as making the property traceable and less sellable.

Whichever method you use, the mark should be so secure that removing it would damage the property or affect how the item performs.

Electronic Register

When you buy items, such as expensive electrical equipment, the companies may allow you to record the details of your purchase electronically. Your details will then be held on their database and can normally be accessed by a security code.


It is always a good idea to keep a photographic record of your items whether of sentimental or financial value.  This is particular important if you own antiques, jewellery, paintings and property of high value or sentimental value.  Taking a photo can also be useful when claiming from your insurance or reporting a theft to the police.

Why should I register my property?

Once you have marked your property, registering your property will help if you need to make an insurance claim or report a crime to the police.  

Registering property helps to combat the sale of stolen goods by alerting the second-hand trade of ownership through the unique markings you have put on your property.

We recommend you register your property and details for free on the Immobilise website at Secure Asset Register  This website is used by many police forces throughout the country to help identify the owner of the lost and stolen goods. 

We also recommend you keep a register of your property and record the items details.

Whichever property marking method you chose, police recommend the use of window stickers to advertise the fact that you have marked and registered your possessions.

What do I need to do now?

  1. Identify possessions that you want to mark.
  2. Choose the method most suitable for your property.
  3. Purchase the relevant property marking product.
  4. Mark your property.
  5. Record property details in this booklet as well as on the Secure Asset Register website.
  6. Place a property marking window sticker near your front or back door.


Crime Reduction Officer
Devon & Cornwall Police, Crime Reduction Dept
Police Headquarters
Middlemoor, Exeter

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

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