Online Editions

26th Jan, 2022

Rubery could soon become a SmartWater village after discussions at PACT meeting

RUBERY could soon become a SmartWater village after discussions were had at the PACT (Partners and Communities Together) meeting on Monday.

SmartWater is a high-tech liquid which has a unique chemical code to every bottle, similar to DNA.

Residents mark their valuables with the water and then if it is stolen then it can be returned to the rightful owner once the individual code is checked against a database.

Such is the reliability of SmartWater, if a thief or someone who has handled stolen goods has the liquid on them, it can be used as evidence as part of the criminal case against them and has led to convictions in the past.

Signs warning potential thieves can also be put on lamp posts in areas and stickers in front and back windows of homes, warning the criminals of the risks they are taking by targeting the properties.

Cleobury Mortimer, which introduced the scheme in 2015 after 13 domestic burglaries in 18 months, saw the crime almost eradicated overnight. Since then there has been just two reported burglaries – an 85 per cent reduction.

There are currently 28 SmartWater villages in West Mercia’s policing area and the average reduction across those

Among them are Bentley and Pauncefoot, Frankley, Bournheath and Chaddesley Corbett.

Majors Green in Hollywood is becoming one this month and plans are afoot to make the whole of Wythall a SmartWater village in the future.

Romsley and Fairfield are awaiting their kits.

The cost of SmartWater is around £26 per bottle but the price can be slashed when more people take it up.

At Monday’s meeting Neighbourhood Watch chairman Jim Duggan said if more than 70 per cent of each road signed up to the scheme, then the cost of each bottle would drop to £9.

Coun Peter McDonald also pledged £4,000 from his Worcestershire County Council Divisional Fund towards the project.

“Although crime is not high in Rubery it is distressing to those who are the victims.

“Prevention is better than the cure and this is very true for burglary.

“Until you have been burgled you can’t appreciate the impact of someone coming into your property and going through your personal belongings.

“I believe we owe it to the community we serve to constantly strive to improve and look to work in smarter ways with our police.

“Having a company with the know-how and track record of SmartWater on our doorstep, it makes perfect sense to look at how we could work with them to benefit our community.”

SmartWater bottles last for 12 months but once applied the liquid stays active for more than 20 years.

Residents should call Mick Simpson, West Mercia Police’s ‘We don’t Buy Crime’ project manager, on 01952 214957 or email him at michael.simpson@westmercia.pnn.police.uk for more on SmartWater and introducing it to their area.

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