Bramley and Stanningley ward councillors have welcomed a new move to help protect the character of historic local streets following a rise in targeted thefts.
By forensically marking York Stone paving slabs with DeterTech’s SmartWater technology, police and Leeds City Council hope the initiative will help to deter criminals and assist West Yorkshire Police in bringing thieves to justice.
The SmartWater is invisible to the eye but can be seen under ultraviolet light and is guaranteed to last a minimum of five years. The SmartWater is being used on streets considered at high risk of paving stone theft and allows police to trace stolen paving slabs back to the street from which they were stolen.
The product has a 100% conviction rate in contested court cases, providing a powerful deterrent.
Bramley and Stanningley councillors Kevin Ritchie, Tom Hinchcliffe and Caroline Gruen said: “We welcome this measure to protect the Yorkshire stone paving in the Warrels area of Bramley. It is an attractive residential area, with heritage value and a great asset to the community.
“It is quite disgraceful that there have been attempts to steal these flagstones in the past. Now, the use of SmartWater will both act as a deterrent and assist the police in arresting any perpetrators.”