Police Scotland has today extended a major crime reduction operation across the country following a successful pilot.
In February this year, 600 residential properties in the Grange and Greenbank areas of Edinburgh were issued with Smartwater home security packs to help safeguard their belongings.
Each kit contained a uniquely coded bottle of SmartWater solution, which is brushed on to the homeowner's possessions.
Once applied the solution is almost impossible to remove and is only detectable under UV light. This technique allows officers to identify stolen goods once checked under the light. The unique code within the solution provides an irrefutable forensic link back to the owner of the stolen goods and also links the criminal with the crime scene.
In addition, high-visibility signage was put in place within the participating streets to alert criminals that SmartWater is being utilised in the households around that area.
As a result, domestic housebreaking in both locations has fallen by around 53% per cent compared to the previous 6 months.
The scheme is now being rolled out across various regions throughout Scotland, where local communities have identified housebreaking as a policing priority.
Around 4,500 homes will be covered in four areas in Pollokshields and Rutherglen in the west of Scotland, Killearn and Blanefield in Stirlingshire, Torry in Aberdeen as well as Longniddry and Gullane in East Lothian.
The Duddingston area of Edinburgh has also been identified for inclusion within the next phase of this campaign and all local communities will be provided with the marking kits and signage from today.
The national rollout of SmartWater is widely supported by a range of organisations including the Scottish Government Community Safety, Scottish Neighbourhood Watch, Scottish Business Resilience Centre and various utility and insurance companies. Many of these agencies will be in attendance at the launch event in Killearn.
Superintendent Matt Richards, who is leading on the operation said: "Police Scotland continues to work alongside our communities and relevant partners to tackle housebreaking and protect people's homes and belongings from acquisitive criminals.
"This exciting opportunity with SmartWater Technology Ltd sends a very clear message - we will not tolerate housebreaking or theft of property and remain willing to utilise any and all tactics at our disposal to bring anyone involved to justice.
"The considerable fall in domestic housebreaking during the pilot in The Grange allows us to extend the initiative further and we expect to see similar successes in all the participating areas.
"Thieves and those selling on stolen goods will not know what property is marked, and in some instances products will be deployed that are directly transferable to offenders. These can only be seen by officers equipped with specialist lighting devices.
"However, the use of this product is only one way in which we are working to address housebreaking throughout the country.
"High-visibility patrols in 'hotspot' areas continue to be carried out on a regular basis and a range of crime prevention advice is readily available by speaking to your local policing team or by visiting the Police Scotland website at www.scotland.police.uk."
Phil Cleary, Chief Executive of SmartWater, said: "This is the first time that SmartWater has been rolled out on a national scale and we are delighted to be partnering with Police Scotland on this project.
"The use of SmartWater has aided hundreds of conviction across the UK and has helped the police to achieve significant reductions in housebreaking, most recently in Edinburgh.
"Together with Police Scotland we will do everything within our power to deliver similar levels of crime reduction across the extended project areas."