20 Dec Telesis dot peen markers fight crime in Europe
Theft is an unfortunate…and unfortunately common…part of life.
All of us have been victims at one time or another. For a lucky few, perhaps it was nothing more than a school mate stealing a favorite pen. But it seems that most people will find themselves the victim of a more significant theft at some point in their lives.
Bicycle theft is hardly rare.
Stealing cars is a bit of a right of passage in some parts of the world.
And far too many of us have experienced the incomparable shock of coming home to find your life ransacked by burglars.
Complicating matters is that the trauma experienced in the wake of such acts is exacerbated by the knowledge that law enforcement finds it quite difficult to solve crimes of theft.
But in Europe, police departments have found a new partner to help them solve crimes and discourage potential thieves: Telesis.
Crime Fighting Technology
Back in 2015, the police department in the British city of North Yorkshire purchased four dot peen markers from Telesis. The idea was that the marking machines could leave easily identifiable marks on things that are commonly stolen: bikes, lawn machinery, televisions, computers, etc.
The police hoped that such marks would make it easier to get stolen property returned to its rightful owner after an arrest. As importantly, if the theives of North Yorkshire came to understand that property across the area had been marked, it might discourage these ne’er-do-wells from their chosen “profession.”
The North Yorkshire police decided on Telesis’ dot peen systems after weighing several factors.
First, the cops wanted to use permanent marks, not marks that could be easily tampered with, destroyed or removed.
Second, they needed a system that was easy to use and didn’t require specialized expertise.
Third, they wanted the ability to leave clearly visible marks that potential thieves could see. That would lessen the need to rely upon a publicity campaign about the marks.
Fourth, they needed to create a methodology of recording property ownership.
Fifth, they needed a marking method that couldn’t spoil or damage the property (a color spray or low quality stamp, by contrast, could prove unsightly.)
In the end, the choice as clear.
The North Yorkshire Police decided that only a dot peen marker was simple enough to use and left a clear and tamper-proof mark.
Still, the police department had to decide which dot peen systems to purchase.
The department invited all of the major manufacturers of dot peen markers to submit bids.
In the end, Telesis carried the day.
Spreading the word and leaving a mark
Once the machines were delivered, the anti-crime campaign kicked off in earnest.
Telesis’ sales manager in the U.K. launched a large-scale training operation in which nearly 75 North Yorkshire Police officers and PCSOs (police community support officers) in the use of the dot-peen marking machines.
Next, police spokespersons began to spread the word. Cops appeared on local radio and met with newspaper reporters. Advertisements were placed on the sides of buses. And social-media teams using the Twitter Hashtag #whatisdotpeen explained the system to citizens.
Today, people across the city regularly bring their property in to the police station to be marked with their UK postcode and house numbers. That information is housed in a central database managed by the department.
Property being marked includes phones, tablets and laptops, bicycles, golf clubs, boat equipment and horse tack.
And given how small and easy-to-operate a dot-peen machine is, the North Yorkshire police regularly take them on the road for special mark-your-property events at golf courses, school events, etc.
The idea spreads
The North Yorkshire Police department has been so pleased with the dot-peen initiative that they’ve spread the work to other law-enforcement agencies. The effect has been dramatic.
So far, 21 dot-peen machines have been sold to police departments in the United Kingdom, and more have been quoted.
Now the news has jumped across the Irish Sea.
Property Marking Ireland is the name of initiative designed to spread dot-peen marking across the Emerald Isle. Property Marking Ireland is also the name of a new not-for-profit company, created by law-enforcement agencies and local governments, that has purchased dot-peen marking machines and offers property marking in locations across the nation.
All of the dot-peen marking machines used by Property Marking Ireland are manufactured by Telesis.
All of them.
As of late 2019, Property Marking Ireland has completed three large-scale tests of the effects of dot-peen marking upon crime levels. According to a statement published on the initiative’s website, the results have been clear and dramatic: “Households and businesses are less likely to be victims of crime when they have their valuables security marked.”
The system used by Property Marking Ireland differs slightly from the British model.
As noted, Property Marking Ireland is a non-proft with exclusive rights to distribute Telesis machines in that country for use in anti-theft marking. The initiative will provide those machines to communities free of charge.
The program involves marking property with the owner’s Eircode number, which is a unique identifier only recently debuted in Ireland. And unlike in the UK, where a postcode can be shared by several houses or businesses, each property in Ireland has its own unique EIRCODE.
In addition, homes and businesses can display a sticker on their premises warning would-be thieves of their participation in the system.
Accolades and prizes
Property Marking Ireland, which was founded by a man named James O’Neill, has already purchased 18 Telesis dot -peen marking systems, particularly the BenchMark 460, a handheld, fully programmable battery operated marker that’s packaged in a rugged and convenient carrying case. The 460 model has a tungsten carbide-tipped pin that can “write” two characters per second to an accuracy of 0.006mm on a variety of metal and plastic surfaces.
And Telesis expects to sell more of these devices to Property Marking Ireland soon. That’s because the Tipperary-based agency was just named one of six Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI) Awards.
The SEI, launched in 2004, aims to promote methods that solve or ease social ills, Winners of the SEI award will split 240,000 Irish Pounds (roughly US$355,000) and participate in a nine-month accelerator program designed to help them scale their non-profit enterprise.