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SmartWater proving succesful burglary deterrent

THE city is being deluged by cutting-edge SmartWater technology after it was revealed that more than 1,500 buildings in Peterborough are now protected by it.

THE city is being deluged by cutting-edge SmartWater technology after it was revealed that more than 1,500 buildings in Peterborough are now protected by it.Police say that the number of burglaries in areas where it is being used have been slashed, and they are now urging more people to make using it their New Year's resolution.

SmartWater was launched by Cambridgeshire police in December 2006 and is used by householders, schools, churches, factories and community centres, among others – sometimes to deter lead thieves.

Each bottle of the clear fluid has a unique DNA code, meaning that stolen items which have it on them can be identified and returned their rightful owners.

It glows in the dark and is sometimes used to booby trap crooks, who end up with it sprayed on them when they try to steal cars or break into buildings.

One woman who received it during a special action week in Westwood and Ravensthorpe, Peterborough, last year is Georgina Bissell (31), of Brookfurlong.

She said: "I think it is an excellent idea. I have put it on the electrical equipment in the house, as well as some of my jewellery.

"I have the stickers up to say I have it. I think it is a deterrent."

Ecclesiastical Insurance has issued SmartWater to all the churches it insures in Peterborough in a bid to reduce the amount of lead thefts that have hit the area.

All Saints' Church, in Fulbridge Road, Paston, which has had 23,000 worth of lead stolen, is among those issued with it.

The Rev Gillian Jessop said: "SmartWater is an excellent idea. Anything that deters thieves can only be a good thing."

Everyone who is arrested and taken to the city's Thorpe Wood police station has to walk under a UV archway, and, if they are covered in SmartWater, they can be linked to a crime.

Now police are hoping that more homes and businesses will take advantage of the crime prevention technique in 2008.

Community safety officer Carol Aston said: "SmartWater packs do cost money, but we know that, on average, a burglary costs a household 3,000, so it makes good sense.

"It allows us to identify and return more property, but it can also act as a strong deterrent if the SmartWater stickers are clearly visible to potential burglars."

 

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