What is the smart water that victims of gender-based violence are using against their attackers
A person has been convicted and jailed for domestic abuse for the first time in the UK after being sprayed with a substance called SmartWater.
Literally translated as “intelligent water”, it is a forensic liquid that remains on the skin for up to six weeks. More in the case of clothing.
And now it is being tested by the British police with a view to protecting women and combating gender-based violence, since it allows the attacker who has been sprayed with the substance to be linked to a specific batch .
The condemned victim, a native of West Yorkshire (in the north of England), is one of more than 200 women in the country who have a complete set of this deterrent liquid in their homes.
The kit includes a hand spray, a gel to apply to doorknobs and doors, and an automatic mechanism that releases a jet of liquid if someone approaches the house.
“Domestic abuse is often a difficult crime to prosecute and many times the crimes happen behind closed doors.
If we forensically mark it, we can trace someone to a certain location. So we can know who is the offender and also who is the victim,” he continued.
“What we’re telling the offender is that if they go back to that address and violate these conditions, they’ll be flagged for forensics.”
Other police forces around the country are also using the kits — which cost the equivalent of just over $200 a month per person — as part of their strategy to combat family and gender-based violence .
On average, it costs police nearly $900 to respond to an incident of domestic abuse, according to a survey of crimes in England and Wales.
Detective Sheriff Berry claimed the force would save about $680 per police deployment by using forensic markings as a deterrent. Domestic abuse affects both men and women.
Most victims who use the technology have told police they feel safer , and 94% of people surveyed by law enforcement say they would recommend it to others.
At least 20 of the 43 police forces in England are coming together and sharing what they are doing to tackle domestic abuse as part of the strategic program to stop violence against women and girls in the UK. Detective Sheriff Berry hopes that other forces decide to implement the same technology.
“I really hope other police forces see what we’re doing here in West Yorkshire. The more victims we can protect and make them feel safe in their own homes, the better. That’s the real success of this.”
De antirrobos a antiabuso
For years, SmartWater has been applied to high-value items to protect them and deter thieves.
When the liquid dries it is invisible to the naked eye, but under the ultraviolet light used by the police it fluoresces.
When stolen items are found with this system, after submitting the samples to laboratory tests, the owners can also be traced.
The technology has already served to cut the theft of catalytic converters (expensive auto parts) by half, according to the National Council of Police Chiefs.
But its application in combating domestic violence is new.
The convicted man, a man from the West Yorkshire town of Wakefield, was harassing his ex-partner and breaching a restraining order issued by a judge.
When he showed up and tried to get into the house, she sprayed the liquid on him with a spray bottle from the window.
The “intelligent water” was used so that the agents could find the man and forensically place him at the crime scene .
He was sentenced to 24 weeks in jail and a two-year restraining order.
Rachael Oakley, the director of SmartWater’s intelligence unit, says forensic markings leave no trace of doubt , unlike other deterrents such as CCTV.
SmartWater is made up of a combination of rare elements that cannot be found naturally anywhere in the world. Each bottle has a different amount of these particles and each batch is unique, which means we can categorically identify the batch from which it came.” the liquid came,” he said.
“Our database is the forensic link that points to that person.”