SmartWater® is a forensic property marking technology that was introduced in Cambridgeshire in order to discourage and reduce acquisitive crime. An evaluation of effectiveness was conducted three years after its introduction, using a logic model to test the initiative. We asked a straight forward question “How is this supposed to work?" Then we compared the evidence-based measures against the answer to this question.
The report found that the property marking in the target area using SmartWater® had not been effective at reducing burglary, despite the hopes of it doing so. Burglary reduction is discussed and the point is made that the mass ‘inoculation’ of an area using forensic property marking has yet to be subject to a full, rigorous, independent evaluation. In the light of this all partnerships should be cautious before adopting this approach as a crime reduction measure.
SmartWater™ Report 2010 (PDF 3.7 MB)