Police leave their mark to deter burglars

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Officers in Prescot are visiting residents’ homes to mark their valuables with a unique ultraviolet liquid in a bid to deter burglars.

The initiative has been jointly funded by Prescot Town Council and Healthy Homes in Knowsley (an initiative delivered by Knowsley Council and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service) and, if successful, could be rolled out across the borough.

Staff from the Dedicated Neighbourhood Police team have been using the home property marking kits to mark goods and valuables with the non-removable substance that is unique to the property and the owner. The scheme is also being extended to businesses.

The code for each fluid and item marked is registered on a database which means that any items stolen can be identified to show where they have come from and valuable and sentimental items returned to their owners when recovered. The service is free of charge to residents who take part in the trial.

It also means that thieves can be identified when and where they have stolen or handled these items - even they are no longer in possession of the item - as traces of the liquid stays on skin and clothes.

Signs have been erected around Prescot to advise residents and thieves that this initiative and deterrent is in place.

Neighbourhood Inspector Graeme Webster said: “We are very pleased to be rolling out this initiative in Prescot with the help of the Town Council and Heathy Homes in Knowsley.

“I want to reduce crime and stop residents and their families being a target in their homes of intrusive burglaries that cause great upset and fear. This type of scheme, when used elsewhere, have seen significant reductions in burglaries.

“This scheme means burglars and property are easier to identify, recognise and arrest, so the criminals can be brought to justice and property given back to its rightful owner. If this initiative works well then it is my intention to extend it throughout other areas in Knowsley.”

Anyone who lives or works in Prescot who would like more information about the scheme can contact the Dedicated Neighbourhood team at Prescot on 0151 777 6332.

Anyone who has any information about stolen property or burglaries can call 0151 777 6332 or the confidential Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.