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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 June, 2004, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
'Smart Water' to deter burglars
A Smart Water warning sign
It is hoped burglars will be put off knowing Smart Water is in use
A state-of-the-art security system that uses technology similar to DNA profiling is to be used to protect an estate's homes from burglary.

The "Smart Water" kits allow residents to mark items with a unique combination of chemicals, details of which are kept on a national database.

Police are to use the kits on the Britwell estate in Slough, Berkshire.

It is the first time Thames Valley Police have used the solution, which only shows up under ultraviolet light.

We will be putting up signs to warn potential burglars that property in nearby homes is now too risky to handle
Crime reduction adviser Jason Ballantyne
Officers will carry lights on their key fobs and if they spot an item marked with Smart Water, they will send a sample for forensic examination.

The solution contains microscopic particles encoded with the owner's details, which are logged on a database kept by the government's Forensic Science Service.

Crime reduction advisers will start visiting homes to mark residents' property from Monday.

Crime reduction adviser Jason Ballantyne said: "Burglars know that the police find it difficult to identify the true owners of property found in their possession.

"With Smart Water marking, officers will know immediately whether the goods are stolen, and can quickly find out who they really belong to.

"We will be putting up signs in the locations protected by Smart Water, to warn potential burglars that property in nearby homes is now too risky to handle."

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