SBD News

Household burglary across London down by nearly 30 per cent in areas where Met Police use SmartWater

Twelve months into a three-year contract to protect 440,000 homes across the capital, the crime-reduction strategy is well on track to achieve this world-first initiative and deliver outstanding results.

The unique partnership between the Metropolitan Police Service and SmartWater was launched in March 2015 under the joint initiative called 'MetTrace', where SmartWater was appointed the sole supplier of traceable liquid forensic technology.

The purpose of the MetTrace initiative was to enable residents to mark their most treasured valuables and make them uniquely identifiable to reduce domestic burglary. This is supported by an intensive, continuous, police training programme to help identify SmartWater-marked items when recovered, together with the installation of MetTrace signage both around the city streets and within police custody suites to inform both the public and criminal fraternity of the initiative to drive down crime and to identify which areas are protected by SmartWater.

Fundamental to the creation of a powerful deterrent is SmartWater's proven track record within the Criminal Courts, and with a 100% conviction rate, criminals have a heightened awareness of the product and SmartWater's success rate for achieving convictions. Routine searches of offenders also take place in police custody suites, in conjunction with a number of covert operations to catch thieves in action. Second-hand dealers are also educated as part of this programme to not accept SmartWater-marked items.

This has significantly increased the chances of arrest and conviction for thieves who target SmartWater-protected premises.

Year One Results *:

  • 129,780 MetTrace SmartWater Kits issued to London homes
  • 27.5% reduction in residential burglary in the MetTrace initiative areas (vs 5.7% in non MetTrace areas) with 1,000 fewer victims
  • Saving £676,489 and 18,791 police hours
  • 8 arrests and convictions, including a number of arrests as a result of covert operations
  • 4,000 deterrent street signs erected across the capital with another 2,000 ready to be installed shortly
  • 118,000 new contacts generated for local Police community engagement
  • 95,000 home owners indicated their interest to join their local NHW and passed on accordingly.

More Information about SmartWater

SmartWater forensic traceable liquid technology marks items of value with their own unique forensic 'code', which is almost impossible to remove. Any traces of the liquid will glow bright yellow under ultraviolet light, allowing Metropolitan Police officers to easily identify any marked property.

The unique code within the traceable liquid provides an irrefutable forensic link back to the owner of stolen goods and also links criminals with the scene of their crime. By heightening the accountability of thieves in this way, SmartWater has established a formidable reputation as a powerful deterrent.

Iain Raphael, Detective Superintendent and MPS Crime Prevention lead, said, "We're delighted that our partnership with SmartWater and all the hard work of the MetTrace teams has produced such outstanding results for Londoners, both in terms of fewer burglary victims and reduced policing costs."

SmartWater's Chief Executive, Phil Cleary, added, "SmartWater operates in a completely unique way. We partner with the police to help them use our technology to secure the conviction of criminals in the Courts. It's our unrivalled track record in Court that causes the criminal to want to avoid SmartWater, resulting in the creation of a powerful deterrent."

* Published by the Metropolitan Police on 31.03.2016