SmartWater tech rolled out to help catch vehicle thieves
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State-of-the-art forensic technology has been rolled out across Staffordshire as part of our ongoing commitment to tackle vehicle crime.
Residents and businesses in hotspot areas now have an extra layer of protection at their disposal in the form of new SmartWater vehicle kits.
The technology was first introduced in Staffordshire following a successful trial period by South Yorkshire Police and is widely used to forensically link offenders to the scene of their crimes. It was previously rolled out locally to help victims identify domestic abusers and has now been transformed to help us find and stop car thieves proactively.
The rollout also comes following our proactive enforcement activity this year:
More than 85 arrests have been made since September (2022) for those suspected of vehicle theft
So far, more than 25 of those people have been charged with the offences or recalled to prison
Alongside officers proactively targeting those responsible, residents are now able to forensically-mark their vehicles using SmartWater kits, which gives them a unique forensic code which has a proven track record of identifying property and linking criminals to the crime.
Inspector Louise Booker, who has overseen the SmartWater rollout locally, said: “This is another important step in the right direction and gives officers extra ways of targeting vehicle crime in Staffordshire.
“Whilst we’re happy with the progress being made, we are still looking at new ways of proactively targeting offenders and protecting the public. This is another example of that commitment and demonstrates our plans to continue targeting community priorities as effectively as possible.”
Local officers have been handing out the kits to residents and businesses who are based in hotspot areas, those who own make and models which are frequently targeted or owners of high value vehicles.
Part of the rollout also sees Police Community Support Officers carrying out proactive engagement in the affected areas and visiting homes and businesses who have either fell victim to vehicle crime in the past or those who may be potential targets - based on local intelligence and regional data.
The kits are capable of marking a large number of parts on the vehicle – including cars, motorcycles, caravans, trailers and business vehicles.
The technology is still capable of leaving a trace even if the vehicle is dismantled and broken down for parts.
Gary Higgins, Director of Operations, DeterTech UK (formally SmartWater Technology), said: “SmartWater retains a 100 per cent conviction rate in contested court cases where our technology has been used in evidence. We are delighted to be supporting Staffordshire Police in proactively targeting car thieves and giving vehicle owners greater peace of mind.”