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In London, the Metropolitan Police‘s Firearms Enquiry Team (FET) has written to over 30,000 firearms certificate holders across London. Besides promoting use of a forensic marking product under the ‘MetTrace’ banner, the team is encouraging its customers to visit the Met’s new website and register their email addresses with the unit to improve contact and services. The team are also seeking to promote greater vigilance amongst the shooting community and encourage reporting of any suspicious activity.
MetTrace is a London-wide burglary reduction initiative designed to protect homes by use of forensic property-marking products. The SmartWater liquid, unlike serial numbers, is virtually impossible to remove and can only be viewed under UV (ultraviolet) light. That code can then be used by the police to trace the items, should they ever be stolen. SmartWater branding, via stickers on windows, has proven to deter burglaries in the first instance, police add.
In addition to the current MetTrace offer of one in seven homes in London being offered free SmartWater Kits – containing invisible traceable liquid – firearm owners are being offered the kit for a reduced price. This is the first time the Met has encouraged licensed gun owners across London to use forensic marking – with the aim of increasing security and recoverability of their firearms. That also supports the Met’s drive to reduce gun-related crime, led by the Met’s Trident and Area Crime Command and the Flying Squad.
Commander Matt Twist, the Met’s lead for Armed Policing, said: “This initiative is extremely welcomed and contributes in many ways to keeping London safe. We really value the ongoing support of our shooting community and hope our approach will go some way in demonstrating this. As well as promoting MetTrace, I cannot stress enough the need for vigilance at this time. The public are our eyes and ears; playing an increasingly important role in tackling gun crime and terrorism. I urge people to continue reporting any information or suspicious activity they become aware of.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Iain Raphael, the Met’s project lead for MetTrace, said: “The MetTrace project and its partnership with SmartWater has, to date, seen a reduction of over 3,000 residential burglaries in London. Expanding its reach to help support the security of licensed firearms across London is a great next step and of obvious relevance in helping to keep London safe, and a further way in protecting your home.”
And SmartWater Director Alan Given QPM said: “SmartWater is delighted to be working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service and this new initiative will provide support to firearms holders, whilst deterring theft. It will give firearms licencees greater peace of mind that their firearms are forensically protected and will help to make communities both within and outside the capital safer.”
For firearm security advice visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/firearms-security-a-brief-guide.