12:39PM, Tuesday 27 July 2021
Over the past week 1,000 homes across Windsor and Maidenhead have been kitted out with new security to protect belongings from burglars.
Police neighbourhood teams, the Royal Borough’s community safety team and volunteers led by neighbourhood Sergeant Phillip Collings handed out forensic marking kits to residents.
The SmartWater kits allow residents to mark their most valuable items with a special solution.
As well as the kits, signs are being placed across the borough to deter would-be burglars from the area.
Many burglars are aware of the existence of SmartWater, as suspects are tested for traces of it when taken into custody. SmartWater is almost invisible unless using a UV light.
Each kit has a unique DNA code that is registered to the SmartWater member. This code enables items, if found, to be traced back their owners – and also to any crime scene.
The solution has a 100 per cent conviction rate when used as evidence in court, says Thames Valley Police.
Officers will also be working with local businesses to scan property in second-hand outlets for the solution, to ensure criminals are not using these businesses to discard stolen property.
Chief Inspector Phaedra Binns, deputy commander for Windsor and Maidenhead local policing area, said:
“The Royal Borough is a safe place to live but by helping residents to mark their belongings, we can make the area even more unattractive for potential thieves, and can help to trace and convict any who still choose to commit crime here.
“These SmartWater kits are just one way of heightening your home security and one of many options for marking and registering your valuable items.”
She added that residents should also be especially aware of leaving doors or windows open in the summer months.
“It is so important to check and double check your doors and windows if you’re leaving home, even for a moment, as many burglars are opportunistic and will take advantage of any weaknesses in your home security,” she said.