Violent pub yobs in Doncaster bars could be marked with a spray: Police column

We’re currently looking at how we could bring in a spray to mark troublemakers at Doncaster’s pubs and clubs, writes Insp Andy Coulter.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 10:47 am
Doormen equipped with Smartwater would wear armbands like these.

The scheme is already successfully in place in Sheffield where it provides door supervisors with SmartWater in the form of a smart tag spray to mark offenders involved in incidents such as serious assaults or offences involving weapons.

The smart tag spray is red in colour unlike the traditional SmartWater which is green, but is exactly the same in its uniqueness with each canister having its own unique makeup, when analysed linking suspect to the canister activated. The solution will only be carried and used by door staff who have been specially trained, who will also be wearing armbands which will identify them as carrying SmartWater.

I am now in talks about how we can bring SmartWater to Doncaster East. It is a water-based, traceable liquid, which contains a unique forensic signature. It can withstand fire, humidity and sunlight and just a speck is required to link a criminal or property to a crime. The liquid has already been rolled out in parts of Doncaster, where it is used for forensically marking property in people’s homes with a unique chemical fingerprint that will link it to a particular property to help deter burglars. In one part of Hexthorpe and Balby where it was first launched the area has seen a 21 per cent reduction in burglaries since October 2018. Similarly another area of Hexthorpe and Balby has seen a 17 per cent fall. Mexborough has seen a 16 per cent reduction in break-ins where it has been used..

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Insp Andy Coulter with a sample of the type of Smartwater which would be applied in houses to prevent burglaries in Doncaster East

I am looking to bring this type of SmartWater to Doncaster East very soon, and will look at offering it to households in areas where there is a higher rate of burglaries. I am also in talks about bringing it in for commercial premises, and for door supervisors working in the night time economy, in the East and potentially across Doncaster as a whole.

Burglaries are still an area are we are looking at here in Doncaster East as well as across Doncaster as a whole.

Last month we had 16 break-ins recorded in Askern and Norton, of which 11 were people’s homes. The other five were garages or sheds. The Askern and Norton figure is higher than other parts of our neighbourhood, but that is because it is a large geographic area of those wards. The Hatfield ward saw 11, with seven of those people’s homes. There were 10 break-ins in Armthorpe, with seven of those homes. The number of break-ins in other areas were nine in Edenthorpe (six homes); three in Thorne and Moorends (three homes); and eight in Stainforth and Barnby Dun (all within homes).

I would urge people to be mindful of burglaries, as evenings are drawing in and the darker nights are coming. Be vigilant and make sure doors and windows are locked. Report people or vehicles to us if you think they are suspicious via 101 if there isn’t a crime in progress where 999 would be appropriate or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Doormen who are equipped with Smartwater will wear armbands like these.

On October 9 we ran a community day of action in Hatfield and Dunscroft, along with Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, HM Customs and Excise and trading standards and other local partners. We had our off road biking team and mounted section there too.

A total of 70 vehicles were stopped and checked by DVSA. Of those, six were taken off the road, and a notice for work to be done was issued. The camera safety partnership checked Broadway and Station Road. From 6.50am until 10am there were four vehicles found speeding on Station Road, and seven were found between 9.55am and 1pm at Broadway. They will received enforcement notices in the post.

The off road bikers team located and recovered three burned out vehicles, and investigations are ongoing around these. Sheep Dip Primary School received a visit from our mounted officers. More action days are planned across the whole of the East.

Finally, Hallowe’en is just around the corner – and that means we will be increasing the level of patrols across the Doncaster East neighbourhood, to deal with any antisocial behaviour though I would urge those intent on mischief to think about their actions and the possible consequences. To go out to enjoy the evenings, behave and look to join in with some of the excellent activities that are being put on over the next couple of weeks in the local communities to engage and entertain you.

In the meantime, we are holding the following engagement sessions, at Moorends Miners Welfare on October 24, 7.15pm, and Armthorpe Miners Welfare on October 31, at 7.00pm. We will also hold a Facebook engagement session on Doncaster East NHP on the 24th.

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