Watermark Leaves Criminals High and Dry

Jan 17, 2008

Criminals have admitted that a hi-tech invisible liquid, which can only be seen under ultra violet light, is the most effective in stopping them in their tracks.

Burglars are automatically sprayed with a DNA-style code that lasts for months – linking them directly to a crime scene. The forensic technology is also used to ‘code’ valuables.

Findings from a study into crime deterrents are announced today by the University of Leicester following research by the University’s spin-out company Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International.

The study led by Martin Gill, a Professor of Criminology at the University, identified SmartWater as being more effective in deterring experienced criminals than security guards, burglar alarms, ink dye-tags and CCTV. The impact of SmartWater as a criminal deterrent even topped high-visibility police patrols.

The study of over 100 criminals revealed that simply displaying signs that goods and premises were protected by SmartWater was sufficient to put off most of the criminals the team interviewed.

Professor Gill said: “According to our sample, SmartWater provided a strong projected deterrent value in that 74 per cent of the offenders interviewed reported that they would in the future be put off from breaking into a building with a SmartWater poster/sign displayed.

“Overall, the findings indicate that crime reduction strategies using SmartWater products have a strong deterrent effect. In particular, one notable finding of the study was that whilst ‘property marking’ in general acts as a reasonable deterrent, the combination of forensic products which SmartWater uses in its holistic approach increases the deterrent factor substantially.”

When scored out of ten by respondents in regard to deterrent value, SmartWater was awarded the highest average score (8.3 out of a score of 10) compared to a range of other crime deterrents. CCTV scored 6.2, Burglar Alarms scored 6.0 and security guards scored 4.9.

According to South Yorkshire Police, who assisted with the report, it has used SmartWater within covert operations to trap car thieves, and has secured no fewer than 24 criminal convictions on separate occasions. At present, 15,000 homes in Doncaster – where the research was carried out - use SmartWater forensic property coding within their homes, whilst all 117 sites run by Doncaster Education Authority also use the technology.

Although outside the remit of this piece of research, SmartWater technology is currently being used in a variety of ways-including protecting lead on church roofs, ‘cash in transit’ robberies and business break-ins. In Leicestershire, SmartWater vials have been made available by Ecclesiastical Insurance to protect churches targeted by lead thieves.

SmartWater Chief Executive Officer, Phil Cleary, said: “Over many years, we have gathered anecdotal evidence from throughout the UK that The SmartWater Strategy™ has led to vast reductions in various types of crime. We are pleased therefore that this piece of research, from such an eminent academic body, lends weight to our claims. The SmartWater brand is well known to the criminal fraternity and many major companies, such as Scottish Power, G4S and Ecclesiastical Insurance now use its deterrent power to protect their assets.

Source: University of Leicester

Explore further: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

For cells, internal stress leads to unique shapes

1 hour ago

From far away, the top of a leaf looks like one seamless surface; however, up close, that smooth exterior is actually made up of a patchwork of cells in a variety of shapes and sizes. Interested in how these ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

1 hour ago

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Recommended for you

Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

Apr 16, 2014

Science has often come to the rescue when it comes to the world's big problems, be it the Green Revolution that helped avoid mass starvation or the small pox vaccine that eradicated the disease. There is ...

Japan stem cell body splashes cash on luxury furniture

Apr 14, 2014

A publicly-funded research institute in Japan, already embattled after accusing one of its own stem cell scientists of faking data, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on designer Italian furniture, reportedly to use up ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

superhuman
not rated yet Mar 05, 2008
Smartwater, smart phones, smart cars, everything becomes smart only humans remain as stupid as they ever was.

More news stories

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Bionic ankle 'emulates nature'

These days, Hugh Herr, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, gets about 100 emails daily from people across the world interested in his bionic limbs.