POLICE say hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of recovered stolen property can't be returned to Dorset owners as it cannot be identified.

Officers are now calling for residents to mark property with their postcode and house number using an electric engraving tool or hand engraver.

Vehicle registrations can also be etched onto items in cars.

Ultraviolet marking glows clearly under an ultraviolet lamp. Officers have warned that the marking is not completely invisible, and should be used on surfaces not readily on view, such as the base of a television.

Ceramic pens have also been developed for marking china, glass, and other glazed surfaces.

Heavier items, such as pushchairs, bicycles and lawnmowers can be engraved use a set of punches and a hammer.

Items including jewellery and antiques are not suitable for marking. However, they can be photographed against a plain background with a ruler beside them to give an indication of size.

For more information, visit dorset.police.uk