Police Scotland officers joined members of the Langbank Community Council on Wednesday 8th June to unveil their latest tool in the fight against housebreaking and property theft – SmartWater forensic marking.
Properties in the Langbank area of Renfrewshire will be issued with SmartWater home security packs to help safeguard their homes, vehicles and personal belongings.
The security packs will contain a uniquely coded bottle of SmartWater solution, which is brushed on to the homeowner’s possessions. Once applied the solution is almost impossible to remove and is only detectable under certain UV light.
This technique allows officers to identify stolen goods once checked under the light. The unique code within the solution provides an irrefutable forensic link back to the owner of the stolen goods and also importantly links the criminal with the crime scene.
High-visibility signage will be displayed in the Langbank area to alert criminals that SmartWater is being utilised in the households in the area.
Funding for this project was sought and obtained by Langbank Community Council from a variety of sources including the community partnership fund and from community members themselves eager to take part in the scheme.
Chief Inspector Simon Wright, Area Commander for Renfrew, Johnstone and the villages said:
“The use of SmartWater Technology Ltd is our latest weapon to help protect people’s homes and belongings. While local community officers will continue to patrol our villages 24/7, the added deterrent provided by this forensic property marking scheme, is a valuable crime prevention tool.
“From the start of the scheme any offenders coming into contact with smart water as a result of them touching or removing property, will have traces of smartWater on their skin and clothes, which they will be unable to wash off or see. However my officers, utilising specialised devices will be able to pick up those traces, hence linking the property taken and the offender back to the crime scene. I hope this initiative will be an effective tool, which will help thwart the activities of the criminals who conduct this sort of despicable act against people’s personal property.
“Other areas in Scotland that have been using SmartWater have already seen a considerable fall in domestic housebreaking and I am delighted that the Langbank area is the latest area to participate in the initiative.
“Anyone who has any concerns or would like more crime prevention information should contact their local policing team at Johnstone Police Office via 101. Alternatively information can be obtained from the website at www.scotland.police.uk. “
Mr Neil Barrington, Chair of Langbank Community Council said:
“Langbank Community Council (LCC) is very well served by having regular Police Scotland attendance at our monthly meetings, and during such a session the SmartWater Crime Prevention Initiative was introduced to us.
“Following on with personal visits from senior police officers and a representative from SmartWater demonstrating the technology, the LCC applied for 40 kits to be sold to participating villagers.
“The scheme was initially very well received and as a result there has been a demand for a further 40 kits to be purchased. To do this and to encourage further take up of this initiative, the LCC submitted an application for Local Area Committee (LAC) funding and were awarded part funding for this second rollout.
“We are very grateful of the time and effort taken by Renfrewshire Police, and in particular Ch. Insp. Wright and Insp. Glass, for their diligence in helping to make our village safer and more crime free.