SmartWater Metal Theft Protection

The cost of metal theft to the UK as a whole is estimated to be at least £770m every year.

The Church of Scotland Insurance Services Ltd has unveiled an innovative way to tackle the problem of metal theft after announcing a partnership with forensic crime fighting specialists SmartWater Technology Ltd. As part of the deal with SmartWater, Church of Scotland Insurance Services Ltd church policy holders will receive, at no cost, a SmartWater starter kit (upon request only) including a supply of SmartWater forensic solution and deterrent signage.

SmartWater is an ongoing risk management and crime prevention service that is having significant success in the fight against metal theft. SmartWater is widely used to both deter and detect incidents of metal theft from churches and is already in use at over 30,000 churches across the UK.

Each church is provided with its own chemically unique liquid which is used to mark lead, copper and other valuable metals, assigning them with a robust forensic signature that is registered to their address.  This provides the police with irrefutable traceability which can be used to link a thief or a receiver of stolen goods with a particular crime.

The Facts about SmartWater:

  • SmartWater is almost invisible under natural light
  • Fluoresces bright yellow under ultraviolet (UV) light
  • SmartWater can be applied to all kinds of exterior metals including lead flashing and copper roofing and piping
  • SmartWater assigns metal with its own unique forensic signature
  • Once applied it is virtually impossible to remove
  • Unlike DNA-based property markers, which fade in sunlight, SmartWater is made of robust metal-based chemicals which can withstand direct, long-term exposure to sunlight.

To actively target the criminal fraternity, regular police checks are now taking place at unscrupulous scrap yards to search for metals marked with SmartWater. For more information please read the information leaflet we have developed and visit