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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 September 2005, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK
Guilty burglars detected by glow
Man's face sprayed with SmartWater
Anyone sprayed with SmartWater glows under an ultra-violet light
A sprinkler system which showers burglars with an invisible liquid is being used to cut crime in Newcastle.

SmartWater, which shows up under ultra-violet light, contains a unique DNA-style code.

When a break-in happens the thief is sprayed with the liquid, which cannot be washed off and lasts for months.

Custody offices are now fitted with ultra-violet arches which every prisoner will pass through to show if they have been sprayed.

Those who have been will glow under the lights and the liquid's "code" can be used to place them at the scene of a particular burglary.

Police have invested in a number of sprinkler systems which can easily be installed in homes or commercial premises.

Peter Fay, a community inspector with Northumbria Police, said: "Every person arrested in Newcastle is now passing underneath the arches which will show up immediately if they have been in contact with SmartWater.

"We are also starting to work with second-hand shops in Newcastle to educate them on SmartWater and will be providing them with portable scanners so they can test items themselves."


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