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Ashbourne residents urged to get Smart

Posted on 9th April 2013

Homes in Ashbourne will be the focus of a three-day high-tech crime prevention campaign to help protect residents against burglars.

Derbyshire Dales Community Safety Partnership, which is led by police and Derbyshire Dales District Council, will be giving out free SmartWater kits in and around the Stanton Road area of the town from Monday, April 15 to Wednesday, April 17.

Derbyshire's Assistant Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa, is also due to visit the town during the operation, which is being run in partnership with organisations such as Nottingham Community Housing.

It follows a similar campaign led by the Community Safety Partnership last year, in which homes in Ashbourne, Brailsford, Hathersage and Tansley were visited and given crime prevention advice.

More than 1,000 homes were visited as a response to a spate of burglaries in the Trees Estate area of Ashbourne during the same operation.

SmartWater is an invisible liquid that shines green under ultra-violet (UV) light and contains a unique forensic fingerprint that can link property to its owner and criminals to a crime scene.

After giving out over 500 free kits last year, the SmartWater operation has continued into 2013 with visits to homes in Darley Dale's Station Road, Matlock's Farley Hill and now Ashbourne again.

Crime prevention advice will be given by the campaign team, with a free SmartWater kit to protect valuables and other property. The kits include a supply of Smartwater, signs to tell would-be burglars that a house is protected, and registration so that any missing property can be returned.

Residents will also be invited to sign up to the free police messaging service Derbyshire Alert, to ensure they are kept informed of any initiatives and activities.

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 to live, work and visit, 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.

"Another great aspect of this operation is that we get an opportunity to speak to hundreds of householders, who are able to tell us face to face what they want from the police, the District Council and other agencies."

Inspector Bryan Hall, who is in charge of policing across the Derbyshire Dales, said: "We want to get the message across to local people that police forces throughout the UK are now trained to look for SmartWater.  

"Derbyshire Dales residents clearly appreciate that SmartWater can be a very useful tool in the fight against crime and continuing this campaign helps to spread the word.

"Having Smartwater signage up also acts as a deterrent, telling any would-be burglar that your property is marked and registered so harder for them to dispose of."

To report suspicious activity or if you have any information about crime, call Derbyshire police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.  

You can also call your local Safer Neighbourhood team on 101. To sign up for Derbyshire Alert online, visit www.derbyshirealert.co.uk.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.