SmartWater outlines latest campaign

SmartWater outlines latest campaign

PMM talks to SmartWater’s Phil Cleary about the security solutions company’s latest campaign and how workshops are in a prime position to help.

March last year saw a peak of catalytic converter thefts, with 3,245 thefts reported in that month alone. Along with the shortage of raw materials, the price of precious metals has shot up, resulting in car owners left at a loss as thieves supply unscrupulous scrap dealers and chop shops with stolen parts. The past year has seen the British Transport Police jump into action to recover the stolen converters, and pinpoint the thieves and the entire supply chain. A week-long operation taking place last April recovering over 1,000 stolen converters, resulting in 50 people being arrested.

As part of the struggle against catalytic converter theft, SmartWater has been an incredibly useful asset to the authorities. You may already be familiar with SmartWater, but even so, it’s worth taking a look at what this mysterious substance is. Unlike something a medieval apothecary might keep in a coloured vial, drinking this solution won’t actually increase your intelligence. Using it in your workshop, however, is certainly an intelligent thing to do. SmartWater is a traceable liquid, with a unique “code” embedded into each individual batch, which is logged onto a database. What the solution isn’t, as co-founder and CEO of the SmartWater Group, Phil Cleary assures me, is DNA. “DNA isn’t nearly robust enough,” Phil explains. “DNA fades in sunlight. That’s why we use inorganic chemistry to get very robust signatures, which is more suitable for a solution designed to last several years.”

For the workshop, there are two main uses this liquid could be put to. Firstly, any expensive equipment that is kept loose in the workshop can be invisibly marked. Anything stolen by thieves, either breaking in at night or grabbing an opportunity during the day to nip in and out whilst all the technicians are off the floor, can be identified as your property if recovered and compared to the database. Secondly, the liquid can be spread over entranceways into the workshop, such as windows and doorways. That way, if there has been a theft, the culprit’s clothes can be analysed for traces of SmartWater and matched up to the source.

SmartWater outlines latest campaign
Buxton Police inspecting a catalytic converter at a workshop

National campaign

Now, SmartWater is setting its sights firmly on catalytic converter theft, which drives 30% of car thefts. The security group is looking to mobilise workshops in the mission to mark car owner’s catalytic converters with the traceable liquid, enabling the converters to be easily tracked back to their owners – as Phil puts it, “traceability is the enemy of theft”. Workshops are being asked for their involvement because it is beyond the means of the average driver to apply SmartWater to their own catalytic converter. Workshops who wish to become a part of the scheme will be instructed on how to appropriately apply the liquid, and log the vehicle into the database. This 10-minute job can be sold easily as an add-on to customers already in the workshop.

Participating workshops will be able to purchase packages of 30 SmartWater registrations for £15, which leaves ample opportunity for a mark-up. Also provided by the group are marketing and promotional materials aimed at raising awareness among customers. Most importantly for the workshop, once the liquid has been applied and the vehicle registered, there is nothing more required from them.

Want to know more? For more information on how to get involved in the scheme, click here.

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