Comment: ‘It dissuades thieves in the first place’

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STOLEN property could soon become too hot for even the most experienced burglar to handle after news that Police Scotland is to pilot SmartWater technology in the Grange and Greenbank areas of the city.

The clear liquid, which shows up under UV light, has already helped halve housebreaking rates in other parts of the UK.

SmartWater is a highly sophisticated version of postcode pens with which addresses can be marked on goods. Water is used to carry millions of harmless microscopic particles, each uniquely coded to a licence user.

When dry, it is virtually undetectable and almost impossible to remove. The slightest trace can be analysed to provide irrefutable proof of ownership.

The major benefit is not in reuniting owners with stolen goods, but in dissuading thieves to target homes in the first place.

The results from the Grange and Greenbank trials will be watched closely. In England, burglary rates dropped by 30 per cent in a pilot project in West Bromwich. If this success is replicated here, then communities across Lothian will be keen to sign up.

SmartWater costs around £20 a bottle but the investment is priceless if housebreaking rates can be lowered. Feeling safe in one’s home is fundamental.

Brave and powerful

A NEW booklet published by charity Cardiac Risk in the Young features a moving account by Shelagh Green from Trinity of the shock and grief she experienced when her husband James died at the age of 34 after collapsing during a cricket match.

She is one of ten men and women who have been brave enough to tell their own stories in the booklet in an attempt to help others and raise awareness. These personal essays are deeply affecting and a powerful argument for extending screening services in the hope of preventing similar tragedies.