Thieves will think twice about targeting the Kingswood Estate in Watford, as the community will become the first “Smartwater village” in Hertfordshire.

The scheme will see all 600 members of the Kingswood Residents Association’s (KRA) given a SmartWater Home Security pack and deterrent signs will be placed all over the estate.

Smartwater is a traceable liquid tag which can be applied to items of high value. The liquid contains a code which can only be seen under ultraviolet light. The liquid not only helps identify thieves but it also makes it easier for stolen items to be returned to its rightful owner.

The scheme was announced as part of KRA’s community safer day, in partnership with Hertfordshire Constabulary, SmartWater and Watford Council. Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, attended alongside nearly 300 residents.

KRA chairman John Swain said: “We have seen a large increase in burglaries in our area and we have taken the initiative to try and do something about it.

“This new Smartwater village is the largest outside London. The Met Police has seen a large reduction in crime in areas where SmartWater is used. It is not a solution to crime but it is a deterrent.”

Stanborough ward councillor Tim Williams added: “Criminals do not like trying to sell goods that have been treated with SmartWater. There will be signs on the estate warning would be thieves that SmartWater is in use.”