Programme aiming to reduce burglaries in Newham launched

Councillor Unmesh Desai at the MetTrace launch

Councillor Unmesh Desai at the MetTrace launch - Credit: Archant

A project which will see more than 3,000 homes in burglary hotspots across Newham receive free security marking kits has been launched.

The security marking kits will contain SmartWater

The security marking kits will contain SmartWater - Credit: Archant

Newham Police, supported by Newham Council, launched the MetTrace programme on Monday.

Altogether, 3,868 homes across the borough will receive free security marking kits to help trace their property if it is stolen.

The kits contain an invisible property marking solution, called SmartWater, allowing owners to mark their possessions with a unique forensic code, which can be viewed under a UV light.

The code also allows officers to link burglars to a crime scene.

Warning stickers will also be provided to residents to help deter burglars.

Councillor Unmesh Desai, cabinet member for crime and anti-social behaviour, said: “I welcome this initiative which is part of a fight back against opportunist thieves who target our residents.

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“Being burgled is a horrible experience, which leaves people feeling vulnerable and unsafe in their own homes - often precious possessions are lost forever. Through MetTrace less residents should become victims, but if they do there’s more of chance that they will get their items back by using SmartWater.”

In the next few months Safer Neighbourhood officers will deliver and demonstrate the SmartWater kits to residents and provide crime prevention advice.

Chief Inspector for Neighbourhood Policing in Newham Shabnam Chaudhri said: “The delivery of SmartWater kits in targeted areas will have a significant impact on burglary reduction and other crimes in Newham. Those who commit crime are frightened of this technology, but we can’t make this a success without you, so when my officers come to your home I would ask that you sign up and protect yourself and your neighbourhood.

“If you’re not home we will put MetTrace cards through your door. Please don’t throw them away they have our contact details so that we can visit at a time that’s convenient for you. We want to make you feel safer.”