The Metropolitan Police Service [MPS] and the Mayor of London have announced the world’s largest roll-out of an innovative ‘traceable liquid’ to reduce burglary rates across the capital.
The new ‘Met Trace’ programme, which will run over three years, will provide 440,000 homes in burglary hotspots across the capital with a free kit containing an invisible traceable liquid, allowing owners to mark their possessions with a unique forensic code and to display warning stickers to deter burglars. 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.
“We’ll use traceable liquids to create a hostile environment for burglars”
Created by Smartwater Technology Ltd, the liquid, which is virtually impossible to remove and can only be viewed under UV light, has already been proven to significantly reduce burglary rates. During a recent Met trial across five boroughs, burglary rates reduced on average by 49 percent, with some areas seeing a reduction of over 70 percent. More than half of residents involved in the pilot said they felt safer having applied the liquid to items in their homes.
The Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan set a target to reduce burglary by 20 percent by 2016 and the number of burglaries in the capital is down 23 per cent compared to March 2012. The Met Trace programme is another positive step to building on that work further.
The technology has a significant deterrent effect and it is predicted the roll-out could prevent over 7,000 residential burglary offences, saving the MPS almost £5 million and freeing up 140,000 police hours (equivalent to 17,400 police working days).
Commander Simon Letchford, who is co-ordinating the programme, said:
“The Met is committed to driving down burglary and is working hard every day to reduce offences, arrest offenders and support victims, using innovative technology to help us achieve this.
Our pilot has proved the concept of traceable liquid property marking works and we are delighted the technology will benefit a further 440,000 homes across London, which we estimate will prevent a further 7,000 properties from being burgled. We will use traceable liquids as effectively as possible to create a hostile environment for burglars and to make our communities safer.”
Commander Lechford has confirmed, via Twitter, that although Croydon is not on the original list of boroughs the plan is to start roll it out to all boroughs by the end of 2015.
The information here includes helpful tips to keep your property safe and advises that Neighbourhood Watch can supply the kit to members at a third of the usual cost. CCC have queried this and will confirm when further details are known.