MetTrace is a project run by the Met to reduce burglary across London. Over a three-year period we’ll be visiting one in seven homes to provide residents with up-to-the-minute crime prevention advice and free SmartWater® property-marking kits. Behind the scenes, we’re also training our officers to routinely search for property marked with SmartWater, and working closely with second-hand traders to deter thieves from selling on stolen goods.


SmartWater is a way for police to definitively link your valuable items to you. Almost invisible to the naked eye, the advanced liquid glows yellowy-green under UV light and every bottle has a unique forensic signature.

This means if we recover a stolen item that has been marked with SmartWater, such as a bicycle, we can use forensic analysis to identify the address where the SmartWater is registered and return the bike to its rightful owner.

SmartWater can be used to invisibly tag all of your valuable items, from watches and jewellery to laptops and mobile phones. Guaranteed to last at least five years, once SmartWater has been applied it's almost impossible to remove.

Not only does it give you peace of mind, it gives police around the UK a better chance of reuniting owners with their recovered items and catching the criminals that benefit from crimes like theft, burglary, robbery and handling stolen goods. To date, the use of SmartWater has had a 100% conviction rate in court and has been proven to reduce burglaries by 85%.

How does SmartWater deter burglars?

SmartWater has a long track record of helping the police to secure convictions against criminals – some of them for very serious crimes. Criminals are therefore well aware of it and the risks it poses to them.

They also know that officers across the UK have been trained to detect SmartWater and will be looking for it routinely, both out on the street and in the police station. This not only puts real pressure on burglars but also puts 'handlers' at risk too. These are people who buy property knowing, or at least suspecting, it has been stolen. Put simply, property marked with SmartWater becomes too 'hot' for them to handle.

With this in mind, we're providing window stickers in every MetTrace pack, to alert any would-be burglar to the fact that your property is marked with SmartWater. Research has proven that criminals avoid targeting premises that display the SmartWater deterrent door and window stickers. By displaying the deterrent stickers in your windows and on doors you are sending out a powerful warning to any would-be thieves that your home is protected by SmartWater.

How to get a MetTrace pack or SmartWater kit

Have you received a 'Sorry We Missed You' card from us through your door? If so, we're delivering free MetTrace packs in your area. Visit our How to request a MetTrace pack page to arrange a more suitable time for us to visit.

If you haven’t received a card, we may not be delivering MetTrace packs in your area yet. However, you can still get your hands on a SmartWater kit in one of these ways:

To find out if we're planning to distribute MetTrace packs near you soon, please visit your local police station. Find yours on our Contact us page.