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Police have key to unlocking age-old problem

06:45 14 August 2014

Suffolk Chief Constable Douglas Paxton says the force's new Suffolk SAFEKey initiative can reunite people with their lost keys.

Suffolk Chief Constable Douglas Paxton says the force's new Suffolk SAFEKey initiative can reunite people with their lost keys.

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Losing your keys can be a nightmare – and expensive. A new Suffolk police initiative aims to help get them back to you.

Have you ever lost your keys? Then you’ll be well aware of the concern and cost that can result from this. However, you are not alone. Figures suggest that 5.6 million people lose their keys every year in the UK.

Now Suffolk police has launched Suffolk SAFEKey to help you get your keys back if you lose them.

The average price of replacing a bunch of lost keys is £500 when you add up the cost of replacing typical locks for your home and vehicle;

■ Cutting three keys and replacing locks – £225.

■ Replacing locks and access safe – £250.

And here are some examples of the costs associated with losing car keys:

■ Ford Focus, lock set and reprogramme – £495.

■ BMW 318 Compact, code and replacement key – £228.

■ Nissan Almera, cut and retumble locks – £435.

■ Kia Sorrento, replace two keys – £358.

■ Audi A4, supply and code new key – £207.

■ Vauxhall Vectra, supply and code new key – £273.

Suffolk’s Chief Constable Douglas Paxton said: “The police are often the recipients of lost and stolen keys, as they are handed into police stations by members of the public who wish to see them returned to their rightful owner. Last year Suffolk Constabulary was handed thousands of lost keys but, despite our best efforts, it is not always possible to find the rightful owner.

“This is why Suffolk Constabulary created Suffolk SAFEKey, a simple yet innovative service which helps ensure that your keys, if lost, are returned to you. The service operates across whole of the UK and the rest of the EU, so your keys can be protected even when you’re on holiday.”

Suffolk SAFEKey members receive a Suffolk Constabulary branded metal key fob, with a unique reference number. This allows the police to check who the keys belongs to, helping reunite people with their keys should they be lost.

Thanks to Suffolk SAFEKey, the local force has been able to return keys worth thousands of pounds to their owners. This has helped members avoid both emotional and financial concern, and all from as little as £1 a month.

In addition to the key fob recovery element, Suffolk SAFEKey offers a keyholder database facility to members. A keyholder is someone you nominate who lives near your property and can be contacted by police in the event of an incident at your property while you are not there.

Membership to Suffolk SAFEKey starts from as little as a £12 a year. Additional fobs for people living at the same premises can be bought for half price, so family and friends can be covered for only £6 a year.

Suffolk SAFEKey also helps local communities as money from the scheme is driven back into Suffolk Constabulary’s charitable arm – the Safer Suffolk Foundation. The Safer Suffolk Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for those living and working in the county, supporting local grassroots projects. To date, it has given more than £150,000 to local Suffolk grassroots projects.

So you can join Suffolk SAFEKey and help protect your keys and support local charities which improve the quality of life for people who live and work in Suffolk.

To join Suffolk SAFEKey, or to find out more about the service, view the Chief Constable’s video clip at www.suffolk.safekey.org.uk or telephone 08444 121 802. People who join Suffolk SAFEKey will be entered into a free draw to win £250 of high street shopping vouchers.

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