SmartWater Technology

Linking culprits to metal thefts

The Case

SmartWater Technology creates traceable liquid solutions, applied to infrastructure or assets to prevent and deter crimes. This solution is nearly impossible to remove – withstanding burning and long-term exposure to sunlight – and uniquely assigned to an identifiable forensic code.

Railway theft resulted in more than 50 hours of train service delays, and Britain’s rail agency has spent more than £200,000 repairing the tracks – money that could have been better spent on improvements.

The Challenge

Metal thefts were considered a lesser crime for police who dedicated scarce resources for major crimes. SmartWater already had data on where the thefts happened, but it needed to speed up its service to police, providing them with actionable information to stay ahead of the criminals.

How GeoTime Helped

The metal thefts were mapped in GeoTime, allowing analysts to quickly produce visual reports identifying crime patterns and hotspots. Using GeoTime, 10 SmartWater analysts can do the work of 30.

Prior to GeoTime, criminals believed they could commit a crime four times before the pattern would be identified and police patrols focused on that area. With GeoTime, thieves were identified much faster and law enforcement can act quicker.

GeoTime Features Used

  • Automated summaries showing hotspots and most frequent locations of thefts
  • Video and PowerPoint presentations

The Result

During an investigation, four suspects’ homes were searched, where authorities found cutting tools marked with tiny flecks of SmartWater forensic solutions. Using GeoTime, SmartWater was able to show the locations of the crimes and how each defendant was linked to a particular theft.

The four men were convicted of more than 30 thefts of metal cable and serving a combined 11 years in jail.