A massive anti-burglary blitz, which thieves have dubbed unfair because it is so effective, has started on a Bradford estate.

In the first project of its kind in West Yorkshire, officers from Odsal have joined forces with Bradford Council to mark around 4,000 items of property with a visible and permanent code.

More than 600 houses on the Parkside estate, West Bowling, have signed up for the scheme and PC Stephen Town, Odsal's Crime Prevention Officer, said it should make burglars think twice about stealing from homes in the area.

Up to six items in each household have been stencilled with the postcode and house number in permanent ink which enters the surface of the property. Electrical goods which are portable, valuable and easy to sell are the main targets.

The project had previously been carried out in Durham Constabulary, where burglaries have been reduced as a result.

PC Town said: "One burglar up there was heard to call it unfair as it was impossible to sell the stolen property.

"Thieves use electrical goods as currency.

"If we make the property identifiable and difficult to sell, then it's not worth stealing in the first place."

PC Town said the initiative, sponsored by Selectamark which produce the equipment, provided low cost crime prevention to a large number of people.

PC Town said: "This is a very cheap method of crime prevention.

"It is one of the solutions in beating the burglar, especially for people who do not have a lot of money to spend."

Part-time student Dawn Reed, 32, has taken part in the scheme.

She said: "I think this project will stop burglaries to a certain degree, but I doubt that it will deter the young ones, who will risk their lives to feed their drug habit.

"But it will make the more experienced burglars stop and think."

Two Odsal officers worked with Council staff to carry out the marking of equipment last week and distributed stickers which are placed in windows to ward off potential burglars.

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