27th Jun, 2019

Meetings held in Bentley and SmartWater scheme introduced to address 'rise in rural crime'

A SERIES of meetings have been held at Bentley Village Hall to address rural crime in the area.

More than 120 people attended the first get together last month after the residents called on the police to do something following concerns over the number of burglaries on the area.

Following that a SmartWater scheme was introduced to the area which enabled residents to mark their valuables with the high-tech liquid which has its own unique chemical code similar to DNA.

Then if property is stolen and recovered it can be returned to its rightful owner.

And because of the reliability of SmartWater, items marked with it can even be used as evidence to build a criminal case against the perpetrator.

Resident Andy Boss said: “There’s only 138 houses in Bentley so to get 120 people to the first meeting really showed the strength of public feeling about the issues.

“It has brought the community together and increased our faith in the police and that something is being done.

“The SmartWater scheme has given the community more protection and we have seen more of a police presence in the village.”

Mick Simpson is the project manager for the police’s We Don’t Buy Crime project which encourages everyone to register and mark their property to protect it against potential thieves as it makes it less attractive to steal and easier to detect.

“The parish council in Bentley paid for all the residents to have SmartWater and then signs were put up in the street to let people know it is a SmartWater area.”

He added there were already 36 villages in the force area interested in the scheme – 11 currently using it, including Cleobury Mortimer which introduced SmartWater in 2015 and has not had a reported burglary since.

Anyone wanting more information on crime prevention schemes for their village or area can emaill Natalie Lowe at natalie.lowe@westmercia.pnn.police.uk or call her on 101 ext 3918.

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