To date over 7,000 kits have been distributed in burglary hotspots with 5,000 to go. In London as a whole the target is 440,000.
During visits to residents the MetTrace team will explain the scheme and demonstrate use of the kits whilst answering questions and providing crime prevention advice.
Each kit contains an invisible property marking solution, allowing owners to mark their possessions with a unique forensic code. This code can then be used by the police to trace the items should they ever be stolen and to link suspects to crime scenes. Each kit also contains high visibility warning stickers for residents to display to act as a deterrent for potential burglars.
This solution has been created by SmartWater. The solution is virtually impossible to remove and can only be viewed under UV light and has already been proven to significantly reduce burglary rates.
During a recent trial across five London boroughs, burglary rates reduced on average by 49%, with some areas seeing a reduction of more than 70%. More than half of residents involved in the pilot said they felt safer having applied the liquid to items in their homes.
The hotspot areas in Redbridge have been identified following a review of local crime statistics by a team of analysts. At present Redbridge MPS are unable to distribute MetTrace outside these areas although it is likely the scheme may be extended in 2016.
"How does SmartWater work and how will it benefit me?"
- SmartWater is used to mark valuable items (such as laptops, mobile phones, TVs, jewellery) which may be at risk of theft from the home. Each bottle of SmartWater carries a unique forensic code which is registered to it's owner's address.
- Once applied it is almost impossible to remove and can only be seen under ultraviolet lighting. Police custody units are equipped with UV lights and prisoners and their property are scanned for SmartWater on entry.
- Smartwater helps to locate stolen property, identify victims and reunite them with their stolen items.
- Burglars are aware of the product and will be aware of the '100% conviction rate' advertised by SmartWater. The stickers in each kit tell potential suspects that your property is protected, acting as a fantastic deterrent.
- Sign up to Neighbourhood Watch at www.redbridgenhw.info – It's FREE to join. Members of Neighbourhood Watch can then purchase kits at a discounted rate of £25 (usually priced at £75 per kit).
- If you're already a member of your local Neighbourhood Watch or Barkingside 21 you might qualify to get one for free; get in touch with your local Coordinator or us for further details.