Over the next four days (Thurs 16 – Sun 19 Jan), officers will be providing SmartWater home security packs to around 450 households in Yeovil, to help tackle residential burglary in this area.
SmartWater is an odourless and colourless forensic liquid with a unique chemical code. Once dabbed onto valuables, this technology enables the police to easily reunite stolen property to the original owner if recovered.
As part of the roll out, officers will show residents how to apply the SmartWater technology to their belongings, share the latest burglary prevention advice and discuss any crime-related concerns.
This is the second instance Operation Remedy has given this technology to residents in Avon and Somerset, following the first roll out in October 2019 in Worle in North Somerset. Since this roll out, the number of reported burglaries are a third of what they previously were.
The SmartWater project is just one of a number of proactive initiatives being rolled out across Avon and Somerset as part of Operation Remedy.
In the first six months of activity, the work conducted by Operation Remedy resulted in a sustained reduction in number of burglary offences, with 661 fewer burglaries across Avon and Somerset, 9% less than the previous year.
In Yeovil in particular, there have been a number of significant burglars who have been brought to justice. Most recently, Liam Raybould from Martock, was jailed for a total of three years and eight months after breaching an earlier community order imposed by the court having been convicted of a number of burglaries in Yeovil in November 2018; and Wayne Stanley Shortland, of Horsey Lane in Yeovil, was jailed for 18 months for stealing a handbag from the home of an elderly couple in Yeovil.
Superintendent Pete Warren, of Operation Remedy, said: “This latest proactive initiative demonstrates our commitment to tackling residential burglary across Avon and Somerset. We take burglary very seriously and continue to work hard to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.
“The SmartWater home security packs not only help us to return recovered property to the original owner but also act as an effective deterrent to burglars who know SmartWater-marked property is much harder to sell on.
“We will also be working with local second-hand shops to reiterate their responsibility for ensuring they are not facilitating the sale of stolen goods and highlight how they can check if an item has been marked with SmartWater.”
South Somerset Neighbourhood and Partnerships Inspector, Elaine Costanza, commented: “Tackling residential burglary requires a coordinated approach and I am pleased our local neighbourhood policing teams have partnered with colleagues on Operation Remedy to deliver these SmartWater kits.
“There has been a number of significant burglary offenders brought to justice in Yeovil and we are grateful to our local communities for their help and support in providing useful information in identifying suspected burglars as well as looking out for each other and playing their part in securing their own homes.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens: “I know that burglary is a concern for local people and many victims have shared with me how upsetting this crime is. It can leave families living in fear in the place they should feel safest – their own home.
“The SmartWater home security packs will act both as deterrent to burglars and help officers bring more offenders to justice.”
While Avon and Somerset Police continues to work hard to target offenders and reduce offences, everyone has a part to play in keeping their homes safe by securing their property. Please take note of the following crime prevention advice.
- Lock up and set the alarm, if you have one, at night as well as when you go out.
- Lock all your windows and doors every time you leave your house – even if you are just in the garden – and remembering to double lock UPVC doors.
- Hide all keys, including car keys out of sight and away from the front door letter box and consider fitting a letterbox cage.
- Hide any high value items such as jewellery, handbags/wallets and passports etc and where possible store them in a properly secured and hidden safe or bank vault.
- Keep entrances to your property easily visible by ensuring nearby hedges and trees are well maintained.
- Ensure any side gates are securely locked to prevent unwanted access to the rear of your property and make sure boundaries to your property – including fencing and walls – are in a good state of repair.
- If possible, install a visual burglar alarm and an outside security light, many of which are sensor activated.
- Sheds are easy targets for burglars – really consider what valuables you are happy to store in a shed.
- Secure bikes at home by locking them to an immovable object inside a securely locked shed or garage.
- Consider joining your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Avon and Somerset residents can purchase a SmartWater home security pack at a discounted price of £19.95 by visiting www.smartwater.com/redeem or calling 0333 320 7797 and quoting discount code ‘AVONSOM1995’.