Free Smart Water service for Crookes and Crosspool homeowners to prevent burglaries this Christmas

Residents in Crookes and Crosspool have been offered to have their homes marked with Smart Water to prevent burglaries during the holiday season.

South Yorkshire Police are providing the service for free to reduce the high rate of break ins in the area as a part of Operation Shield.

Ben Hanson, Support Sergeant for Central and North West said: “The idea is to increase risks for offenders and reduce the reward. It will make them less available to sell and to generally deter burglaries from happening.”

“It’s just such a personal crime and if we can stop people becoming victims then it would make us a lot happier.”

Smart Water is a DNA coded invisible dye that is applied using a sprinkler system. It is visible under UV light and can be used to identify stolen items if they are recovered, as well as making it harder for offenders to sell them.

It is only available to specific zones at the moment as a certain density of marked properties are needed for it to work at its best. Police community support officers will also undertake crime prevention surveys of the building and offer advice.

Eligible residents are being urged to contact the police to make appointments.

Smart Water has also been used at nightclubs in the city centre to allow bouncers to identify those involved in serious incidents.

Detective Inspector, Andrew Shields, warned about burglars taking advantage of the Christmas season. He said: “Burglars know it’s a busy time of year and people are out of their normal routine, families are dashing around shopping or socialising more than usual.

“Thieves also know that we’re all likely to have presents stored up at home and cash hanging around. We want you to spend it, not let it fall into the wrong hands.”

Police advise homeowners to not leave any valuables visible, secure all windows and doors, install CCTV and check the quality of locks.

This year SYP have arrested over 200 people for burglary offences.