A WEBSITE designed to help victims of theft recover their property has gone from strength to strength since it was launched a year ago.

Used by hundreds of people everyday the ‘Its Been Nicked’ website was started by two women from Ledbury who wanted to help people to help themselves. It has become a national database for stolen goods.

The website, started by Angela Jefferson and Carol Smith, gives an indication of the huge range of items that thieves steal, from litters of pedigree puppies to valuable jewellery and mountain bikes. More unusual items currently listed include stolen circus costumes, a canon and a JCB digger.

The online database can be accessed from anywhere and victims of theft can put out an alert as soon as they discover their property has been stolen. People buying second hand goods can check that the item they are buying has not been listed as stolen.

The site also allows people to list property that has been recovered and post rewards for the return of their property. Rewards currently listed include a £50,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of some valuable jewellery and numerous rewards for the return of pets and bikes.

Local thefts on the It’s Been Nicked site include lead stolen from a church roof in Much Marcle, a motorbike stolen from Malvern Link Railway Station, a quad bike stolen from Kempley, near Dymock, and a Mini convertible stolen from Tewkesbury.

Some property is recovered after people find items listed on the site for sale at a car boot sale or on ebay, explained Angela, who said that at a time when spending on the police was being cut she hoped the website was one way to help.

Angela, who has had a number of items stolen from the farm near Ledbury where she lives, said: “It can be very upsetting having things stolen and being told your property may never be recovered.”

She said the site had grown and expanded since it was launched. It now includes crime prevention information, insurance company logos and relevant advertising. She said the site received around 500 to 600 hits a day.

The website can be found at itsbeennicked.co.uk and has links with Facebook and Twitter.