Scotland Yard bosses say their anti-burglary MetTrace programme has saved taxpayers over £2m by slashing the number of break-ins in participating neighbourhoods.
Launched in 2015 by the Met and former mayor Boris Johnson, the initiative saw a quarter of a million households in burglary hotspots issued with free SmartWater kits, allowing them to mark high value possessions, such as computers, bicycles and jewellery.
This was then supported by high profile publicity and signage, including street signs and window stickers, warning would-be burglars that items stolen would be traceable.
According to the Met, burglary rates in MetTrace areas are down 27 per cent compared to two years ago, significantly higher than the 5 per cent reduction in non MetTrace areas.
As well as the cash savings generated, the force says over 60,000 officer hours have been saved through the reduction in investigation time.
Detective Chief Superintendent Iain Raphael, the MetTrace project lead, said: “We’re delighted with these results, not only because we have been able to reduce the number of burglary victims so significantly, but also the cost savings in terms of police time is good news for all Londoners.”
Phil Cleary, CEO and Co-Founder of SmartWater, said: “It’s been an honour to work with the MetTrace team and witness their determination to reduce burglaries in London. We believe that SmartWater’s established reputation is a potent threat to criminals and has played a significant part in securing this excellent result.”