Almost half a million homes in London’s biggest burglary hot spots are to be issued free ‘smart water’ kits to help reduce the 74,000 burglaries which take place in the capital each year.
The kits allow householders to mark high value items with a unique liquid so officers can trace the items if they’re stolen and link suspects to crime scenes.
A recent trial of the technology across five boroughs saw burglary rates cut by an average of 49 percent and the Met hopes the wider roll-out will lead to a further fall.
The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime says a fall of just 7,000 residential would save almost £5 million and free up 140,000 police hours.
Announcing the roll-out, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Crime is down in London and burglary rates are at their lowest since 1974, however we cannot be complacent.
“I am committed to tackling burglary in the capital, and this traceable liquids programme shows that once again the Met Police is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to preventing crime.
“I hope Londoners receiving this kit will take advantage of it to protect themselves and their homes from thieves.”
Commander Simon Letchford, who is co-ordinating the programme, said: “The Met is committed to driving down burglary and is working hard every day to reduce offences, arrest offenders and support victims, using innovative technology to help us achieve this.
“Our pilot has proved the concept of traceable liquid property marking works and we are delighted the technology will benefit a further 440,000 homes across London, which we estimate will prevent a further 7,000 properties from being burgled.
“We will use traceable liquids as effectively as possible to create a hostile environment for burglars and to make our communities safer.”