Hackney rolls out tool in the crack down on burglary


Hackney Council and Police are giving more residents the chance to take up a high tech tool to help crack down on burglary.

Crime in Hackney is down year-on-year, but burglary still remains a priority for the Council, which has bought hundreds of property marking kits to give away to residents.Smartwater - a forensically traceable liquid - was trailed in King’s Park ward in autumn 2013, and the area has seen a 52 per cent reduction in burglary.

As a result of its success it is now being offered to residents on Kingsland Road, Dalston Lane, Tudor Grove, Tudor Road and Graham Road. Residents can sign up for a free pack of the liquid, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, but becomes visible when placed under UV light. By sending it to a lab for analysis, stolen property can easily be reunited with its rightful owners.

Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council
Hackney Council works closely with the local Police to make the borough a safer place and crime is down year-on-year as a result, but we cannot afford to be complacent. "Burglary can have a huge impact on the lives of victims, and Smartwater has proved an innovative way to tackle it. It is as unique as DNA and acts as a deterrent but can also help to prosecute offenders and reunite owners with stolen property. I would really encourage people to sign up for a free kit.
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council

South East Cluster Inspector Simon Crick, said:" We believe that Smartwater can play a significant part in helping residents protect their valuables against theft. Smartwater is an excellent way of tracking stolen property. It is practically impossible to remove and ensures that the item can easily be traced back to the original owner and lead the person found in possession of the property direct to court."

Signs will be put up to let potential thieves know that the area is marked with Smartwater, which has proven effective in other parts of the country in both deterring thieves and reuniting owners with property.

Police Community Support Officers and Community Safety Officers from the council are now knocking on doors in the area to offer Smartwater to residents, or those living in the area can book an appointment by ringing DS Green Preston on 07500 785614.

Appointments should take no longer than about 15 minutes and involve an officer painting a very small amount of the liquid on the property residents wish to mark, such as televisions, mobile phones, games consoles and jewellery. The owner's details are then sent to the Smartwater lab.