AN INVENTIVE way of tackling rural crime has been introduced to Wem

Wem Rural Parish Council is the most recent parish council to sign up to West Mercia Police's We Don’t Buy Crime scheme to introduce SmartWater to households.

SmartWater is a traceable liquid that is applied to items of value to identify thieves and deter theft. The liquid leaves a long lasting and unique identifier, whose presence is invisible except under an ultraviolet black light.

The kit includes a home solution, window deterrent stickers, property stickers and instructions for it use

Timothy Williams, of the dedicated SmartWater team within West Mercia Police says the SmartWater kits work to reasure residents as well as reducing crime.

“This is a great opportunity to work with Wem Rural Parish Council to provide residents with SmartWater kits to mark their property and make it less attractive to thieves," said Mr Williams.

"We already have a number of We Don’t Buy Crime town, villages and parishes across Shropshire and have seen the positive impact it has made.

"Academic research has shown it not only helps reduce crime but makes residents feel more assured.”

First launched in 2015 by West Mercia Police, We Don’t Buy Crime towns and villages see households protected by SmartWater forensic technology, with signs displayed throughout the area warning thieves that crime prevention measures have been taken.

The successful scheme is supported by West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion who is offering to fund 25 per cent of the rollout costs to councillors interested in helping to protect their wards.

Cllr Liz Vernon, chairman of Wem Rural Parish Council, added: “Although in a low crime area it can be very distressing when your home is targeted especially in a rural area.

"Following a presentation from the police and SmartWater in April we were keen to get involved and provide kits to our residents.

"We need to cover 70 per cent of the homes in the parish to qualify for 25 per cent grant from PCC Campion.

"The parish council will fund the balance from its own funds. We really hope that this launch of the initiative will reassure residents that we are working on their behalf with the Police.”

The launch of We Don’t Buy Crime in Wem Rural Parish takes place at Edstaston Village Hall on Saturday, September 21 between 10am and 12noon.

The event will be supported by parish councillors. Representatives from West Mercia Police and SmartWater Ltd will be available to explain how to use the kit.

There is a limit to one kit per household.