Posted on 26th April 2013
A campaign to help people living in Ashbourne to protect their homes and property from burglars has been hailed as a “fantastic idea”.
Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, which is led by the police and Derbyshire Dales District Council, headed out to the Stanton Road area of the town for a three-day SmartWater push.
Police from Safer Neighbourhood teams across the Derbyshire Dales teamed up with staff from the district council and other partners, including Nottingham Community Housing Association, for the operation between Monday, April 15 and Wednesday, April 17.
More than 250 homes were visited and 100 properties in the area now have SmartWater kits and warning signs saying their houses are protected by it. Dozens more were given extra crime prevention advice from police and signed up to the force’s free police messaging service, Derbyshire Alert.
Janet Piper, who lives in Derby Road, took up the offer of a free SmartWater kit.
She said: “It’s a fantastic idea and is actually very reassuring to know that we have the SmartWater kit and can mark any valuables with it.
“It’s an excellent product and I’m pleased that we had the chance to get one.”
The high-tech security kits contain a UV fluid that contains a unique code and is painted onto valuables. If those valuables are stolen and later recovered, they can be returned quickly to the owner.
SmartWater also acts as a deterrent to would-be burglars, as it can easily pin them to a crime scene if they are caught with the UV fluid on their skin or clothing.
Inspector Bryan Hall, who is in charge of policing in the Dales, said: “There’s nothing better than getting out there and speaking to people in their homes about the simple steps they can make to protect themselves from criminals.
“It only takes a few minutes to dab some SmartWater on items throughout your house but it can save a huge amount of distress and hassle if you do become a victim of burglary.
“Our aim is to make sure the Derbyshire Dales remains a safe place to live, work and visit and providing this service will help us do just that.”
Officers from Safer Neighbourhood teams including Ashbourne, Marston and Clifton, Tissington and Carsington, Hulland and Brailsford, Matlock, Bakewell and Hathersage took part in the operation.
Anyone living in the Stanton Road area who did not get a SmartWater kit can visit Ashbourne police station until the end of April to collect their free kit.
Derbyshire Dales District Council's crime and disorder reduction officer, Karen Cooper, said: "Despite the Dales' status as one of the safest places in the UK, the Community Safety Partnership recognises that every crime has a cost, as does fear of crime, so we are committed to visiting people in their homes with measures to help them stay safe.
"A great aspect of this operation was the opportunity to speak to householders face to face. As a partnership we believe in getting out into our communities to hear what local people are saying, and to give crime prevention advice that ensures they stay safe in their own homes."
For further advice contact your local Safer Neighbourhood policing team on 101.