Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 11:53 UK

Smartwater scheme cuts burglaries

Officer shows a resident how to use the SmartWater
Milton residents were given a free bottle of SmartWater

The number of burglaries in part of Kent has been cut dramatically since a pilot property-marking scheme began, police say.

Almost 100 households in the Milton area of Sittingbourne used SmartWater, which can link a criminal to a crime scene, to identify their property.

The rate of burglaries dropped by 94% in the first six months of the pilot scheme, according to Kent Police.

The residents also reported feeling safer since the pilot scheme began.

Each household involved in the project was given a free bottle of SmartWater, which has a unique code similar to DNA.

Signs were also put on lamp posts and in windows to deter any potential burglars.

Every suspect taken into custody at Sittingbourne Police Station is now scanned for SmartWater and similar forensic-marking products.

A spokesperson for Kent Police said they intended to roll out the scheme to other parts of Swale.

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