VALUABLE iPods and mobile phones owned by pupils at two York schools are now more secure after being registered on a new online crime-busting database.

Pupils at All Saints’ RC School and Millthorpe School took advantage of a police initiative to help them protect the gadgets they got for Christmas from thieves.

The Micklegate safer neighbourhood team dropped in to help them register the serial numbers of their valuables on Immobilise.

Nearly 90 pupils recorded their mobile phones and iPods on the database, and 25 more teenagers have ordered cycle tags for their bicycles.

If these belongings are subsequently stolen and recovered by police, the database allows police to track down their owners.

PCSO Louisa Warburton said: “The response from the children was great and we’re hoping that they will also take home the leaflets we gave them so that their parents can learn about the Immobilise website too.

“It would be great if families could register all their expensive gear on the database because it is such a useful tool for us in helping to recover property that has been lost or stolen.

“Visiting the schools was a great way to engage with the pupils – we want them to see that they can approach us and that we are a friendly face in the community.”

Following the success of this initiative to help out younger residents, members of the safer neighbourhood team are now inviting elderly residents from the Micklegate area to join them for a credit crunch busting lunch on Thursday, February 25.

The event will be held at English Martyrs’ Church, in Dalton Terrace, starting at 11.30am.

PCSO Nigel Klavins, who is organising the lunch, said: “Many senior citizens can feel vulnerable or lonely, so we wanted to bring them together for a cheap lunch.

“It’s also a chance for us to mingle with them so they get to know their local police team and have a chance to raise any questions with us.

“We held our first credit crunch lunch in November and everybody who came really enjoyed it – they were all asking when we were going to do it again.”

The lunch costs £2.50, including soup, sandwiches, tea or coffee and cakes – and places can be booked by filling in a form available from charity shops and newsagents in the Micklegate area, as well as the post office. A safety officer from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service will also attend.