Hereford & Worcester

'Da Pinchi codes' not for burglars, say police

code explained

A series of painted symbols often claimed to help burglars target homes are in fact "innocent and explainable," police have said.

South Worcestershire Police said it was aware of social media messages circulating describing the "Da Pinchi Code" - a criminals' code of paint or chalk markings outside properties.

West Mercia Police said signs indicated work planned by utility firms.

There is no evidence to link these symbols to anything else, it said.

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"We are aware of messages circulating again on social media purporting to be describing the 'criminals code' of paint or chalk markings left outside properties, identifying future potential targets for thieves and burglars," said a spokesman.

"However, there is no actual evidence to link these symbols to anything other than completely innocent and easily explainable activities."

Some 'Da Pinchi' symbols and their real meanings

Image caption The so-called criminal 'Da Pinchi' code, and the real meanings of pavement symbols

The symbols are actually ground works markings used by gas, electricity, water, cable and telecoms contractors.

Different paint or chalk colours have specific meanings, the spokesperson added, which indicated whether there were live power lines, flammable material, water, drains or a proposed excavation route.

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