Golf clubs and accessories can be worth thousands of pounds, making them an attractive target for criminals. A new campaign this month saw police in York offering to engrave them with a permanent, unique number - deterring thieves and making stolen property easier to trace.
Former professional golfer turned North Yorkshire Police PCSO Kieron O'Brien led the campaign, 'Join Our Club', with free drop-in sessions at Heworth Golf Club, York Golf Club, Pike Hills Golf Club, Forest Park Golf Club, Fulford Golf Club, Forest of Galtres Golf Club and York Golf Range.
PCSO O'Brien said: "We had a fantastic response to our campaign, marking 1, 531 clubs and items of golfing equipment in just five days. Would-be burglars are getting the message that stealing golf equipment and other expensive property in York just isn't worth the risk.
"We'd like to thank all the golf clubs for hosting us in December. And if anyone is hoping for any golf-related presents for Christmas, we'll be teeing up further drop-in sessions in the New Year."
To find out when your next property marking event is taking place, follow your local York police team on Twitter at @snayorkcityeast, @snayorknorth or @snayorkwest, or on Facebook via the North Yorkshire Police page. The golf club marking service is promoted on Twitter with the hashtag #joinourclub.
North Yorkshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, and Safer York Partnership clubbed together to fund the new dot peen property marking machines earlier this year.
Dot peen marking involves using a tungsten carbide-tipped pin to indent an object with dots to create a visible, permanent unique number. The unique number will be entered onto the national Immobilise property register database, vastly increasing the chances that it will be reunited with its owner if it is lost or stolen.
Inspector Lee Pointon, of York Police, said: "Marking your property is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from being a victim of crime. Criminals will spot the permanent engraving and realise that the property will be too difficult to sell on. Being able to trace the ownership of stolen property can also provide evidence that is vital in securing convictions."
For more information about dot peen property marking, visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/whatisdotpeen.