SECOND hand shops are joining forces with the police to encourage people to mark their property and keep it safe.

Essex Police are working with used goods stores to ensure items which are brought in are checked to see if they have been marked.

Residents are being urged to use things like UV pens, permanent markers or even have their postcodes engraved upon their property to mark their ownership.

Hidden property marking products such as SmartWater and SelectaDNA are available which are invisible but leave a unique forensic signature which can be traced to people who are arrested and checked in custody by police officers.

Chief supt Ewen Wilson is the force lead for burglary.

He said: “Burglary and theft is an intrusive and personal crime that effects our communities.

"Our website has a whole host of advice for residents to read and watch that informs them of the benefits of property marking.

“We aim to help educate the public about security measures they can take, whilst warning offenders that we are working with partners, we can trace them through property marking techniques and we will bring them to justice.”

For more information about property marking and how to keep your home secure visit