Forensic fingerprint technology attracts insurers and police

Insurers are in talks to offer special deals to policyholders who mark their goods using forensic fingerprint technology.

AIG plans to offer up to 10% discount on home insurance, or will offer to pay for the technology if policyholders promise to stay with them for a minimum of two years.

Norwich Union and Royal & SunAlliance are also rumoured to be in talks to trial the technology. The insurers may demand householders mark all goods before insurance is given.

SmartWater technology gives each household item a unique forensic signature, which police can detect using a scanner. Up to 75% of police forces nationwide use the technology.

SmartWater Technologies managing director Phil Cleary said: "West Midlands police have seen a 50% reduction in burglary since using Smartwater.

"We are in talks with a number of insurers, but nothing is finalised as yet. Norwich Union and Equity Red Star, have been using it to fight motorcycle theft and AIG is supporting us.

"The technology makes it easier for police to salvage stolen property which reduces pay-outs considerably."

Oldham police are also calling for insurers to join forces in their fight against rising burglaries.

The crime reduction group, which has seen burglary figures hit 130 a week, wants to set up a steering group and plans to mark all burglary hotspots by the end of the year.

Detective chief inspector John Piekos said: "Insurers are the vital link to help us reduce burglaries and recover stolen goods, but we need insurance companies to come on board to help put burglars out of business."

For further information contact DCI John Piekos on: 0161 856 8941.