Students get smart to beat burglars

Posted on 23 September 2010

Students at Keele University are getting smart to prevent burglars from raiding halls of residence.

University staff have joined forces with Staffordshire Police to encourage students to buy SmartWater kits to protect their property.

The kits, which cost £10, include a liquid that's painted on to personal possessions which can then be traced back to their owner.

Stickers that can be placed in room windows, warning would-be thieves that items have been marked with SmartWater, are also in the kits.

Police community support officers and university security staff will sell the kits as students arrive at halls of residence on Saturday, 25 September to collect their room keys.

David Gray, Head of Security at Keele University, said: "The invisible liquid is painted on to all valuable items such as laptops, iPhones, mobiles, iPods and jewellery.

"If anything is stolen police can work with representatives from SmartWater to identify the owner.

''Each bottle of liquid is different - it's like giving property a DNA profile."

The kits will be available on Saturday from 9am to 4pm and then for a further fortnight.

Although the focus will be on new students, people who are already at the university will also be able to buy the kits.

Sergeant Simon Brownsword from the Newcastle Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Staffordshire Police are extremely happy to be working in partnership with Keele University with the aim of deterring students from being the victims of crime.

“The use of SmartWater is an effective way of preventing crime and tracing stolen property, leading to the arrest and prosecution of offenders.

“Would-be offenders should take note that the use of SmartWater will significantly increase the chance of being caught and convicted for their crimes.”