One in 10 households who have been approached over a new £100,000 crime-busting scheme have rejected the offer, police have revealed.
And over 1,500 more have not responded to the offer at all so far, say officers who are rolling out a new scheme to security-mark property under a scheme called Operation Shield.
Under the scheme, police and council officials have knocked on doors offering to use a marker solution called SmartWater to treat items in the property so that they can trace it if it is stolen.
But officers have been surprised that so many have either turned down the offer or not responded. Police paid £100,000 for the equipment.
If people are out, officers put a card through their door asking them to call to arrange a visit at a time that suits them. But 1,600 have not responded.
This is an Operation entirely funded by the Police to invisibly forensically mark property within peoples homes using a product known as Smart Water, this provides a unique DNA security code to all property householders hold dear, it does not damage property.
Det Chief Insp Paul Wilson said it was an peration entirely funded by the Police to invisibly forensically mark property within peoples homes using Smart Water, to provide a unique DNA-style security code to all property householders held dear. It does not damage property.
He said: “This is something that is free of charge and that can drastically reduce the householders risk of being victims of burglary and make it much easier to recover stolen property if they are.
“It really is a win-win situation for those who accept our offer.
“Yet so far we have had a 10 per cent refusal rate, and 1,600 households who we have leafleted about this when not at home who have not yet got back to to us.
It may be that some people have not realised that it is free of charge when they saw the leaflet they had through their letterbox
“It’s not just victims of burglary who can benefit, either. If someone loses forensically marked property, this means they are much more likely to get it back it its found.
“I am surprised so many people have not yet responded.
“It is initially being trialled in certain areas, with the plan being to extend it across the whole of the borough if successful.
“This scheme is also a good opportunity for people to engage with the police and local authority staff who are delivering the product and let us know what issues are concerning them in their area.”
“I would ask that if you have had a, Operation Shield leaflet to please contact us and we will come at a time and date to suit you and mark up to 50 items of you property per household.
Each batch of SmartWater has a unique formula which can be scanned and traced to an individual address.
Second hand shops have been provided with kits to allow them to check items which are presented to them for possible sale.
Officers are going to the properties to mark equipment for them because when similar schemes have run in the past where people have been given the bottle to mark things themselves, many people did not get round to doing it.