SmartWater technology to be rolled out to thousands more households in Brent

SmartWater kits will be handed out to 4,000 more residents in Brent

SmartWater kits will be handed out to 4,000 more residents in Brent - Credit: Archant

Thousands of residents in the borough will be given a free anti-theft kit worth £70 in a new initiative to cut burglaries across Brent.

Yafet Askale was caught out by SmartWater

Yafet Askale was caught out by SmartWater - Credit: Archant

The SmartWater kits, funded by Brent Council, contain an invisible, marking solution that can be painted on property and leaves an indelible mark which glows yellow under UV light on anyone attempting to steal it.

A pilot carried out last year in the Harlesden area saw burglary plummet by80 per cent and street robbery by 40 per cent resulting in the kits being rolled out to 4,000 more households.

Since mid-February, the burglary rate in the Kensal Green area where SmartWater is also being used has dropped by 50 per cent and street robbery has declined by 20 per cent compared to the same period last year.

A total of 1,600 residents have already signed up to receive the kits, which also include stickers to warn potential thieves that they are using SmartWater on their property.

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SmartWater is also already in use in some industrial and domestic premises across the borough as a spray system which covers any intruder attempting to gain entry to a property.

UV torches which show up the ink have also been supplied to all pawnbrokers and second hand outlets in Brent and every police custody suite is installed with the UV lights which will show up SmartWater as prisoners are scanned.

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Cllr Mohammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said: “Crime is down significantly in areas where SmartWater is being used in Brent, which is a good start and down to some great partnership work between the council and police.

“But we’re not complacent. We will work with police to get tough on criminals and stamp out burglaries in Brent.”

Last October, Yafet Askale, of Harlesden Gardens, Harlesden, became the first person to be convicted in the borough using the SmartWater technology.

The 28-year-old was arrested after breaking into a trap car in Harlesden, without realised he had been sprayed by the invisible ink.

He had denied theft but was convicted and sentenced to 49 hours of community service and ordered to pay £400 costs.

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