A smarter way to beat burglars

As the nights draw in and with Christmas just around the corner, Hounslow’s Community Safety Partnership Board is advising residents to protect their personal belongings.

Published: Tuesday, 25th October 2016

As the nights draw in and with Christmas just around the corner, Hounslow’s Community Safety Partnership Board is advising residents to protect their personal belongings from thieves by claiming a free Met Trace kit.

The kits use SmartWater, which contains a unique forensic code, almost invisible to the naked eye but under UV light, glows a green/yellow colour.

Once SmartWater is registered to an address and a person’s valuable items are marked with it, police can then prove that the item belongs to the owner using cutting-edge forensic technology.

It gives police a better chance of returning stolen items back to their rightful owners and catching criminals particularly those involved in theft, burglary, robbery and handling stolen goods.

The use of SmartWater has already had a good impact on the crime rate in Feltham North and Syon wards where it was trialled in 2015.

According to Met Police figures, by the end of April 2016 there were 22 residential burglaries, but figures showing a 50 per cent fall in the crime from the previous year in these areas.

The free kits form part of the police’s Operation Autumn Nights campaign. Hounslow police will be visiting homes across the borough to encourage residents to sign up for the free Met Trace Smart Water kits.

Raj Kohli, Hounslow police borough commander and chair of Hounslow’s Community Safety Partnership Board, said: “Met Trace is an important tactic in the Metropolitan Police Service’s fight against burglary. Using Met Trace alongside Neighbourhood Watch, predictive police boxes and the ever-improving forensics, we can beat the burglars.”

Councillor Sue Sampson, Cabinet Member for Community Protection, Hounslow Council, said: “Marking your property using a Met Trace kit and advertising that you have done so, could act as a deterrent to would-be burglars.

“In areas where this initiative has been trialled the results speak for themselves. I encourage as many households as possible to claim their free kit when they are offered them by the police.”

To report a burglary call 101. In an emergency always call 999.