18th Jan, 2021

Thieves warned to 'stay away' as Wythall becomes the latest 'We Don't Buy Crime' SmartWater area

Tristan Harris 29th Oct, 2020 Updated: 29th Oct, 2020

WYTHALL has become the latest area in West Mercia to become a ‘We Don’t Buy Crime’ after 3,283 SmartWater kits were delivered to residents.

Signs will also be displayed around the village to let people know properties have the high-tech crime-fighting tool.

Residents mark their valuables with the high-tech liquid which has an individual DNA code.

If items are stolen they can be returned to the rightful owner by checking them against a database.

And such is the reliability of SmartWater, if a thief or someone who has handled stolen goods has the individual 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.

Because of its effectiveness and criminals knowing about it, areas which introduce SmartWater see massive reductions in crimes, including burglary and theft, and some have proven to eradicate it altogether.

Wythall becoming a SmartWater village follows a four-year campaign which began with the parish council signing up to the ‘We Don’t Buy Crime’ campaign.

The towns and villages scheme sees an investment from local town and parish councils, supported by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, to provide residents with a free forensic property marking kit.

Insp Ram Aston leads on We Don’t Buy Crime on behalf of West Mercia Police. He said: “We’re delighted so many property marking kits have been registered in Wythall which now makes it our biggest We Don’t Buy Crime area.

“Since it was first launched in 2015 We Don’t Buy Crime has gone from strength to strength with 114 completed We Don’t Buy Crime towns and villages across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.”

Mr Campion added: “I am proud of the team spirit and sense of community in Wythall, who have come together to tackle crime and the fear of crime.

“The more people that use crime prevention measures, the more effective they are at deterring crime as shown by a decrease in burglaries.”

The partnership has been spearheaded by Coun Adam Kent and shows how successful crime prevention can be.

“As part of my commitment to building a safer West Mercia, I will continue to support and fund the We Don’t Buy Crime initiative to help prevent acquisitive crime,” added Mr Campion.

Earlier this year also launched We Don’t Buy Crime retail towns with shops and businesses in town centres offered a free property marking kit.

Insp Aston said: “Our priority is reducing crime and making our communities safer and I’m thrilled to see so many areas signing up to We Don’t Buy Crime.

“It’s great to see the increase in public confidence as a result of the initiative and we will keep working hard with local communities to ensure that more homes and businesses are protected from criminals.”

Visit www.wedontbuycrime.co.uk for more on We Don’t Buy Crime, including finding out how to become a We Don’t Buy Crime SmartWater area,

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