A DIY anti-theft kit is being given out to homeowners living in parts of Gloucestershire which are attracting most burglaries.

Supplies of ‘SmartWater’ are being distributed in each police district with the greatest number of residential burglaries or vehicle related crimes in the last 12 months.

SmartWater is a traceable liquid and forensic asset marking system that is applied to items of value to deter theft and identify thieves. The liquid leaves a long lasting and unique identification which is only visible under an ultraviolet black light.

The move coincides with National Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) week which launches at the John Lewis store in Cheltenham on Saturday (10a.m.- 4p.m.).

A limited number of SmartWater kits will be handed over by neighbourhood police officers to anyone who is willing to start-up a new scheme in their area.

The aim is to not only deter burglars but also encourage new members in areas where the fewest NHW schemes exist.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Martin Surl says, “SmartWater is a very useful deterrent to would-be burglars so it’s fitting that I’ve been able to make some funding available to pay for it through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

“My office has drawn-up a schedule  and Neighbourhood Watch, which already makes a valuable contribution towards keeping communities safe, is ideal for getting it those areas in the county most in need.”

Research suggests that areas with a Neighbourhood Watch suffer less acquisitive crime. The overall aim of the project is to highlight the benefits of belonging to NHW and to encourage new schemes in areas where few currently exist.

The project will target at least one area in each police district where there has been the greatest number of residential burglaries or vehicle related crimes in the last 12 months, or where few NHW schemes exist.

Chairman of the county’s Neighbourhood Watch Association, former Supt Phil Sullivan MBE says, “Many businesses find SmartWater an effective preventative measure and it can be used in the home as well. 

“As one of the benefits of belonging to NHW encourages the sharing of information within the community with the police it is hoped that it will have an impact on crime levels. It should also help people in those areas, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, feel safer at home”.

The PCC’s Neighbourhood Engagement Vehicle will be used as a focal point during the week for crime prevention advice and literature along with door to door visits. Police Crime Reduction staff, PCSO’s, Cheltenham NHW Association Committee members, Police Cadets, NHW Volunteers and other agencies where they are available will take part in the project.

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