OVER the next four days (Thursday to Sunday, February 16 to 19), police officers will be providing SmartWater home security packs to around 450 households in Yeovil to help tackle residential burglary.

SmartWater is an odourless and colourless forensic liquid with a unique chemical code.

Once dabbed onto valuables, the technology enables the police to easily reunite stolen property to the original owner if recovered.

As part of the roll out, officers will show residents how to apply the SmartWater technology to their belongings, share the latest burglary prevention advice and discuss any crime-related concerns.

It is the second instance Operation Remedy has given such technology to residents in Avon and Somerset, following the first roll out in October 2019 in Worle, North Somerset. Since this roll out, the number of reported burglaries have dropped by a third.

The SmartWater project is just one of a number of proactive initiatives being rolled out across Avon and Somerset as part of Operation Remedy.

In the first six months of activity, the work conducted by Operation Remedy resulted in a sustained reduction in number of burglary offences, with 661 fewer burglaries across Avon and Somerset, 9% less than the previous year.

In Yeovil in particular, there have been a number of significant burglars who have been brought to justice.

Most recently, Liam Raybould from Martock, was jailed for a total of three years and eight months after breaching an earlier community order imposed by the court having been convicted of a number of burglaries in Yeovil in November 2018; and Wayne Stanley Shortland, of Horsey Lane, Yeovil, was jailed for 18 months for stealing a handbag from the home of an elderly couple in Yeovil.

Superintendent Pete Warren, of Operation Remedy, said: “This latest proactive initiative demonstrates our commitment to tackling residential burglary across Avon and Somerset.

"We take burglary very seriously and continue to work hard to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.

"The SmartWater home security packs not only help us to return recovered property to the original owner but also act as an effective deterrent to burglars who know SmartWater-marked property is much harder to sell on.

"We will also be working with local second-hand shops to reiterate their responsibility for ensuring they are not facilitating the sale of stolen goods and highlight how they can check if an item has been marked with SmartWater."

South Somerset Neighbourhood and Partnerships Inspector Elaine Costanza said: "Tackling residential burglary requires a coordinated approach and I am pleased our local neighbourhood policing teams have partnered with colleagues on Operation Remedy to deliver these SmartWater kits.

"There has been a number of significant burglary offenders brought to justice in Yeovil and we are grateful to our local communities for their help and support in providing useful information in identifying suspected burglars as well as looking out for each other and playing their part in securing their own homes."