Website growing in awareness

Stolen boat website www.stolenboats.org.uk is growing with ever more users and awareness among the boating community growing.

The site provides a free, publically accessible database of stolen marine property including listings of stolen boats of all types and sizes, outboard and inboard engines, personal watercraft, trailers and various other items such as electronic instruments.

The website has been developed by Police Marine Units around the UK and the marine insurance industry to aid their work and the industry.

Items reported stolen are entered onto the site by marine insurers, loss adjusters and the police and are cross-referenced against the Police National Computer (PNC).

Many police forces routinely use the web site to aid criminal investigations.

A search facility is available, enabling all site visitors to view listings and search for specific items.

Subscribers are allowed more detailed access.

A spokesman says: “The entire basis for the site is to provide a free database that anyone can access to view marine property that has been stolen.

“It is recommended that a person contemplating the purchase of a second hand boat or engine view the site to see if the item for sale is reported as stolen.

“Although this is by no means a fool-proof system, it may decrease the likelihood of stolen items being unknowingly purchased.”

A ‘Tip-Off’ facility on the site allows people to provide information about property they believe to be stolen whether or not it has been identified through the web site.

Such tip-offs can be provided anonymously if necessary and all such information is treated confidentially by the police.

Police bosses are hoping to boost general awareness of the website among the boating community and industry to maximise its success.

The site is a non-profit-making organisation and any revenue generated from advertisers and sponsors is used to maintain and develop the website.

Anyone who believes their company or organisation can benefit from an association is asked to email partner@stolenboats.org.uk.