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Traceable liquid initiative dramatically reduces residential burglary

News   •   May 26, 2016 16:14 BST

SmartWater traceable liquid

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


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.

Twelve months into a three year contract to protect 440,000 homes across the capital, the crime-reduction initiative is well on track to delivering outstanding results.

Last year,129,780 MetTrace SmartWater Kits issued to London homes. This resulted in a 27.5 per cent reduction in residential burglary in the MetTrace initiative areas (5.7 percent reduction in non MetTrace areas) with 1000 less victims.

This is estimated to have saved £676,489 and over 18,790 police hours.

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 Met 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 the crime. Boasting a 100 per cent conviction rate within the Criminal Courts, SmartWater functions as a powerful deterrent.

The MetTrace initiative enables residents to mark their most treasured valuables and make them uniquely identifiable and reduce domestic burglary. This is supported by continuous police training programme to help identify SmartWater-marked items when recovered. The installation of MetTrace signage around the city streets and within police custody suites has also worked to inform both the public and criminals of the initiative to drive down crime and to identify which areas are protected by SmartWater.

Routine searches of offenders also now 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 targeted SmartWater-protected premises.

Detective Superintendent Iain Raphael, Met's crime prevention lead, said: "We are 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 less burglary victims and reduced policing costs."

SmartWater’s Chief Executive, Phil Cleary, added: "SmartWater operates in a completely unique way. We work in partnership with the police to help them use our technology tosecure the conviction of criminals in the courts. It's our track record in court that causes the criminal to want to avoid SmartWater, resulting in the creation of a powerful deterrent."


Full breakdown of first year results:-

  • 129,780 MetTrace SmartWater Kits issued to London homes
  • 27.5 per cent reduction in residential burglary in the MetTrace initiative areas (5.7 percent reduction in non MetTrace areas) with 1000 less victims.
  • Saving £676,489 and 18,791 police hours.
  • Eight 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 Neighbourhood Watch and their details passed on accordingly