Birthplace Trust finds solution to crime with cutting edge technology - The Stratford Observer
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10th Aug, 2022

Birthplace Trust finds solution to crime with cutting edge technology

Maisie Jeynes 15th Jul, 2017

CRIMINALS are being warned to think twice in future about targeting the Shakespeare properties.

New crime-fighting technology has been introduced at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust properties following the theft of lead piping from Hall’s Croft in March.

The trust is now using SmartWater – a traceable marking system – that is sprayed onto things thieves might target.

The liquid formula leaves a unique imprint on items so they can be identified as stolen if recovered.

The crime-busting solution has been applied on items around Shakespeare’s Birthplace, New Place, Hall’s Croft, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Mary Arden’s Farm, thanks to the SmartWater Foundation, the not-for-profit arm of SmartWater.

Phil Cleary, co-founder and director of the SmartWater Foundation said: “We are focusing our research efforts on forensic technology to protect cultural heritage sites.

“When we heard about the incident at Hall’s Croft, we were happy to be able to make this donation to protect buildings linked directly to Shakespeare.”

Heather Lees, director of finance and planning at the trust, was delighted to see additional security to protect Shakespeare’s heritage.

She said: “We are very grateful for the generous gift of treatments formulated specifically for our properties.

“Maintaining the physical fabric of Shakespeare’s legacy is an ongoing and costly challenge, and this will help reduce the risk of loss and damage caused by thieves.”

SmartWater solution contains a robust forensic code and scientists only need a speck to be able to conduct forensic analysis.

It has been used to successfully convict metal thieves, including a crime gang in Warwickshire which targeted the copper cable of the national rail network.

SmartWater scientists provided evidence that helped send the gang to jail for a combined 11 years.




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