Valleys tenants get high-tech help to beat metal thefts
8:12am Friday 26th October 2012 in News
A VALLEYS housing organisation is using a special substance in boilers, radiators and pipes to help recover items stolen by metal thieves.
Tai Calon Community Housing is working with Gwent Police by using SmartWater to make sure equipment and piping belonging to the social housing landlord can be easily detected if stolen.
SmartWater is a liquid used to mark property which can be read under an ultraviolet light.
Andrew Myatt from Tai Calon said: "Every time we have to replace a stolen central heating boiler it means we have less money to spend on our services to tenants. "They are paying their rent to us to improve their homes and not to line the pocket of a thief."
Tenant Rees Edwards, from Brynmawr, said: "I think it is a marvellous idea and I was really pleased to have the metals in my home marked."
Scrap yards and dealers across Gwent have signed up to a new code of conduct which means anyone trying to sell metals has to provide photographic proof of identity. There are also special procedures for transporting and disposing of anything which has been marked with SmartWater.
Chief Inspector Marc Budden said: "We take metal thefts very seriously and contrary to what some people might think it's not a victimless crime. "People have lost their lives stealing metal and it is also costing businesses and householders across the county tens of thousands of pounds every year to replace what has been stolen."
Tai Calon tenants can buy a SmartWater kit from the organisation for £18.