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Woodcote Primary School


Thames Valley Police

PC 5504 DIX

School Liaison Officer,

Safer Schools Partnership,

Abingdon Police Station.

Colwell Drive Abingdon,

OX14 1AU

Tel. 101                                     



Dear Parents & Guardians


No doubt there were a number of lucky young people that received some fabulous and expensive presents over the Christmas period including bicycles, games consoles and laptops etc.  As such I want to give you some important advice and info on security, marking and registering your valuables.


Laptops are of course becoming a common gift for older pupils and are often used to store very important coursework by many students. Laptops are also a common target for thieves and are one of the most commonly stolen items in burglaries etc.  While it may be possible to replace these, the course work, which could be two years or more work, and other data, may be lost forever. Please consider saving any important data on a separate memory stick or similar device, so if the laptop is stolen, a copy of your important work or data will still be in your possession.


Please see the below information that may help you and your family protect your items more securely. There are also direct links to the Thames Valley Police website and others that will give further information on each topic.


Bicycle Security

About 50% of people do not lock their bike correctly!

  • Record and register your bike.
  • Apply security and forensic marking to the bike frame and any removable items.
  • Invest in an electronic tagging system, such as Datatag and have it fitted to the inside of your bike frame.
  • Keep your bike out of sight. Where possible, store your bike in a secure garage or shed and keep the door locked. More than half of all bicycle thefts take place from an owner's property.
  • Always lock your bike – even if you're leaving it for just a few minutes. Secure it to a fixed object, such as a bike rack or ground anchors. Use a u-lock or heavy duty chain to do this. This applies when leaving your bike at home, as well as away from home. Thieves can remove drainpipes and lift bikes off signposts. Keep the gap small between your bike and the lock.
  • Visit the Sold Secure website (opens new window) for certified bike locks, or visit your local bike shop. The recommended minimum lock standard is a hardened steel D-shaped lock.
  • When you're out and about, don't leave your bike in an isolated place – make sure that it can be seen.
  • Keep a separate record of your bike’s chassis number.
  • Secure any removable parts – lock both wheels and the frame together.
  • Take out insurance, either by extending your home contents insurance or use a separate policy. Cycling organisations and bike shops may offer specialist insurance cover.
  • Provide secure storage for cycles at your place of work.


Property marking

There are various ways to mark your personal property to protect it against theft and help police to return it to you if it is stolen and recovered.

You can mark your property yourself, quickly and at very little cost by using the following techniques:

We recommend that you mark all of your valuable and personal items. Take a photograph of them too. It may then be possible to return the items to you if they are recovered after being stolen.


What details should I include in the marking?

The postcode of the premises where the property is located, house number, and your name or part of your name.

There is also a nationwide website where you can register your valuables, which is


What is Smartwater?

Smartwater is a brand of forensic marking fluid containing millions of microscopic particles that make up an individual property identification code. The liquid is invisible to the naked eye, but glows green under UV light. It can be painted onto valuable items (e.g. laptops, MP3 players, televisions, antiques) so that if the items are stolen and later seized by the police, the markings can be checked and items linked with their owners.


A person who has been arrested for any offence and brought to a custody suite equipped with Smartwater detection facilities will be screened to see whether they may have been stained by Smartwater or any other ultra violet taggant. All prisoners brought into Abingdon custody are screened.


The South and Vale Community Safety Partnership has recently provided funding for the provision of large Ultra violet lanterns to detect items that have been marked with smartwater, ultra violet pens or other forensic marking products. These lanterns are being used across the area by neighbourhood policing teams and priority crime teams not only on stop checks but also when carrying out warrants and also on our regular checks on local scrap yards.

We will be stocking a limited number of smartwater marking kits suitable for homes which mark up to 50 items at a heavily discounted rate of £15 per kit – if you would like to pre-book a kit for collection at your local police station  then please contact Alison Smith Crime Reduction Advisor on 01235 776007 or via e-mail


Road Safety

Lastly and perhaps most importantly young people aged 11 to 15 are more likely to be killed or seriously injured as a pedestrian or cyclist than any other age group.​ Whether your child has a new bicycle or not, please ensure it is well maintained and road worthy. Remember it's an offence to ride at night without a front white light, back red light and back red reflector. It may well be dark during winter months when your child comes out of school or during their journey home and as such they will need adequate lighting and brakes etc for their own safety and in order to abide by the law.


Please see the following link for further cycle safety guidance and lots more general road safety


Thank you for taking the time in reading the above and I hope you find it practical and useful. Please also visit the Thames Valley Police Website for lots more Police related information and Crime Reduction advice.



Mike Dix