Scotland Yard says almost 19,000 policing hours have been saved after its decision to issue SmartWater kits to thousands of homes helped cut burglary rates by almost 30 per cent.
The kits include bottles of traceable liquid, each with its own unique forensic signature, with which householders are encouraged to mark high value possessions and collectables so that any recovered stolen items can be returned to their owners.
Signage advertising the use of SmartWater is then erected to reassure members of the public and act as a deterrent to burglars.
According to the Met, the past year has seen a 27.5 per cent reduction in burglaries in areas covered by the ‘MetTrace’ SmartWater initiative compared to a 5.7 percent reduction in other areas.
The force says the fall has saved around 18,790 police hours and £675,000 in policing costs.
Detective Superintendent Iain Raphael, Met’s crime prevention lead, said: “We are delighted that our partnership with SmartWater and all the hard work of the MetTrace teams has produced such outstanding results for Londoners, both in terms of less burglary victims and reduced policing costs.”
The three year MetTrace initiative will see kits issued to 440,000 homes across the capital, 130,000 of which have already been delivered.