South Shropshire town's pioneering anti-theft scheme

A south Shropshire town is set to become the first in the region to take part in a new drive to cut thefts and break-ins.

South Shropshire town's pioneering anti-theft scheme

Cleobury Mortimer is to pioneer the West Mercia Police "We Don't Buy Crime" scheme, which will see every household given security and property-marking packs.

Signs will also be put up around town announcing the scheme is in place.

It centres around the use of SmartWater, a liquid that can be used on property of all sorts to trace it back to the rightful owner if stolen, said Matt Sheehan, parish clerk and crime reduction group chairman.

The company producing SmartWater, which is made in Telford, is already working with the Metropolitan Police in London to give out security packs to 440,000 homes – but Cleobury Mortimer is the first whole "SmartWater" town, Mr Sheehan believes.

"This is a massive project for Cleobury," he said. "We're trying to make residents safe and secure, because a lot of the burglaries we have are by people coming through so they are hard to trace. We don't have a police station now. I think it's how it has to proceed – the community getting involved."

He said the crime group had secured funding of £15,000 for the packs to be given out free and for signs to be put up. And he said businesses and farmers will be able to get the larger pack at a reduced rate.

Members of the group will be knocking on doors in town in the coming weeks, and will hold a meeting on September 3 in the Market Hall to explain how SmartWater is used, and discuss crime-reduction ideas.

Mr Sheehan said Church Stretton is expected to follow Cleobury in becoming a "SmartWater" town.

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