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New Project to Prevent Thefts & Housebreakings is to be Extended in Scotland

A pilot project involving the invisible marking of personal property has been so successful, Police Scotland have said it will be rolled out to other communities across Scotland.

The SmartWater scheme was originally tried in 600 residential properties in The Grange and Greenbank in Edinburgh, where housebreaking in the area fell by 53 per cent.

SmartWater describe themselves as providing “a range of cutting-edge traceable liquid products and security services to both detect and deter criminal activity”. They also claim, that “SmartWater is the only traceable liquid that is feared by criminals. This is because we have helped the police to identify and convict hundreds of offenders, maintaining a 100% conviction rate in Court”.

The communities were informed that the new initiative was in place warned by signs. The operation involved property being marked with a harmless solution, which is invisible and cannot be removed, and only shows under ultra-violet light. The unique code within each solution kit provides an “irrefutable forensic link back to the owner of the stolen goods and also links the criminal with the crime scene”, according to SmartWater. This deters housebreaking and theft, as the stolen goods are easily recognised under UV light and can directly traced back to the owner.

As a result of the success, 4,500 new homes will benefit from the second phase of the scheme in Pollokshields and Rutherglen in the West of Scotland, Killearn and Blanefiled in Stiringshire, Torry in Aberdeen and Longniddry and Gullane in East Lothian. Following that, the next phase will include the Duddingston area of Edinburgh, and more to be confirmed.

Supt Matt Richards said: “The considerable fall in domestic housebreaking during the pilot in The Grange allows us to extend the initiate further and we expect to see similar successes in all the participating areas.

“Thieves and those selling on stolen goods will not know what property is marked, and in some instances products will be deployed that are directly transferrable to offenders. These can only be seen by officers with specialist lighting devices”. Supt Richards added that high-visibility patrols in “hotspot” areas would continue to be carried out.

The national rollout has been supported by organisations such as Government Community Safety, Scottish Neighbourhood Watch and the Scottish Business Resilience Centre.

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