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Even more homes protected by We Don't Buy Crime property marking kits

More than 10,000 We Don't Buy Crime property marking kits have been provided to local communities across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire since the start of the year.

WDBC - criminal out of business

Earlier this year the initiative received a further boost with additional funding from West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion who reinforced his commitment to protecting local residents from crimes such as burglary and theft.

And, since January 1, 11 parishes have signed up to We Don't Buy Crime.

First launched in 2015 We Don't Buy Crime is West Mercia Police's response to tackling serious acquisitive crime, which includes crimes such as burglary and theft.

Since Cleobury Mortimer became the first town to sign up, more than 60 towns and villages across the force's three counties have joined the scheme which sees whole communities protected with SmartWater forensic technology.

West Mercia Police's Chief Superintendent Tom Harding has led on the initiative since its inception four years ago.

He said: "The area covered by West Mercia Police is some of the safest in the country however one thing I have always been conscious of is the affect crimes such as burglary and theft have on victims of crime, it is often these sorts of crimes that have the biggest impact.

"Taking steps to prevent burglary and thefts in the first place is really important and I'm delighted that since the start of the year so many kits have been provided to our local communities to help protect them from thieves."

In designated We Don't Buy Crime areas SmartWater kits are handed out to local residents so they can protect they home and valuables - marking items with the forensic property marking liquid means if it is stolen police can identify it as stolen making it easier to identify thieves. The liquid also leaves an invisible mark on the skin only visible under a UV light. The kits also include window stickers warning thieves items inside the property have been marked.

Ch Supt Harding added: "All of our frontline police officers carry a UV torch so when they recover suspected stolen property they can see whether it has been marked with SmartWater, if it has, not only can we identify it as stolen but if the item has been registered it can be returned to the owner.

"A key element to the initiative is letting criminals know crime prevention measures have been taken and signs are displayed throughout our We Don't Buy Crime areas letting people know the area is protected by forensic technology."

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: "I am committed to making sure the communities of West Mercia feel safer, which I why I will always support initiatives that work to do that. Smartwater is proven to prevent burglaries, and it is already acting as an extremely effective deterrent across West Mercia. By protecting another 10,000 homes, we are making that many more people feel safe and secure.

"Many people that have used Smartwater, and are now living in a 'We Don't Buy Crime' town, are feeling more reassured and have commented on how there is now a more enhanced community spirit."

ISSUED: 11.05am 22/08/19 EH

Published 22/08/19