The burglary hotspot of Cam is being targeted by Gloucestershire police using a traceable liquid only visible under ultraviolet light to indelibly mark items at risk of being stolen.

The force has acquired about a thousand SmartWater® forensic property marking kits and over the coming months officers will be visiting residents across Cam to offer to apply it to expensive items. Police say that marking possessions is a useful deterrent because it makes it harder for thieves to pass on or sell the stolen goods.

Senior harm reduction advisor David McFarlane said: “We want to ensure that people’s property stays with them and a good way to do that is to help the community mark their treasured possessions. “It deters criminals, or in the unfortunate event of a burglary taking place, can help reunite people with their possessions.”

When residents in St Paul’s in Cheltenham were offered a similar service in 2014 the operation contributed to a 70 per cent drop in burglaries in the area.

“We know how effective these kits can be in supporting crime reduction, so I would encourage anyone who is offered one of these packs to take advantage of the offer,” added Mr McFarlane.

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