ALL LONDONERS at some time are made furious with burglars, or at least their ill-judged work because burglars and victims rarely meet. But help is at hand, according to Hackney police and the council.
They have emailed Loving Dalston about their “high-tech new tool”. That’s new as in “has been used elsewhere”.
Smartwater, a traceable liquid, is being trialled on the Kingsmead and Sherry’s Wharf estates. 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 ultraviolet light. If a found object is sent to a lab for analysis, stolen property can be reunited with its rightful owners.
Deputy Hackney Mayor Sophie Linden said: “Smartwater is as unique as [sic] DNA.” Police officers Raphael Hardy and Rebecca Atkinson are shown, in Clare Baker’s publicity photograph above, with the fluid.
Detective Superintendent Tony Nash said: “This initiative will make acquisitive crime more risky for all thieves and those who handle stolen goods.”
Signs will be put up to let potential thieves know that an area is marked with Smartwater. The police say that in other parts of the country it has both deterred thieves and reunited owners with property.
* Police helpers and council staff are in the area offering Smartwater to residents. Or residents of the trial estates can phone their local police team on 020 8721 2939 or 07879 486460. Appointments involve an officer painting a small amount of the liquid on property that residents want to mark, such as televisions, mobile phones, games consoles and jewellery. Details are then sent to a Smartwater laboratory.
* I can remember my housemaster trying to catch out his thieving little charges when we figured out a way to finesse a vending machine into dispensing free drinks. He succeeded, by coating the cartons with an invisible liquid which showed up during a hands inspection one horrible morning. Just how new is this“new tool”? — Ed.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.