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: Super Bowl athletes are scientists at work

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Galaxy dust findings confound view of early Universe

16 hours ago

What was the Universe like at the beginning of time? How did the Universe come to be the way it is today?—big questions and huge attention paid when scientists attempt answers. So was the early-universe ...

Recommended for you

Super Bowl athletes are scientists at work

Jan 30, 2015

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman gets called a lot of things. He calls himself the greatest cornerback in the NFL (and Seattle fans tend to agree). Sportswriters and some other players call him ...

Sundance doc examines real-life Close Encounter

Jan 29, 2015

Earth authorities are completely unprepared for the arrival of alien visitors and worried humans should ready themselves by watching a groundbreaking documentary, the film's director boasts.

Toward a scientific process freed from systemic bias

Jan 26, 2015

Research on how science works - the science of science - can benefit from studying the digital traces generated during the research process, such as peer-reviewed publications. This type of research is crucial for the future ...

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.