heritage items protected by SmartWater
heritage items protected by SmartWater

Criminal attacks on the World’s national heritage sites are, sadly, increasing at a rapid rate. Thieves, and possibly more importantly, the unscrupulously people who buy from them, currently have little to fear, as the lack of traceability or proof of provenance of the stolen artefacts renders them low risk in terms of possession, even those subject to UN Security Council sanction.

The World’s law enforcement agencies, who work tirelessly trying to protect their country’s cultural sites or repatriate stolen artefacts, are frequently frustrated by the inability to prove ownership or provenance. In the past, the options for providing provenance have been limited, due to cost, logistics or, in the case of DNA based markers, the inability to withstand the harshest weather environments.

SmartWater’s inorganic (not DNA based) traceable liquid changes all that. With very little visible impact on the artefacts and with millions of unique codes available, SmartWater can provide cultural sites with a unique ‘forensic fingerprint’ that will enable law enforcement agencies to prove where a recovered artefact came from and the date the ‘forensic code’ was applied, thereby providing an additional ‘date stamp’.

The SmartWater forensic process renders any artefact, from earthenware to metal, ‘too hot to handle’ for any prospective Purchaser, thereby reducing their appetite for stolen items, as the prospect of arrest outweighs the benefit of ownership.

SmartWater solutions are water based, non-hazardous and can be painted or sprayed on. Once a ‘forensic formula’ has been registered to a geographic site location, huge stock piles of artefacts can be sprayed and protected in minutes.


SmartWater’s specially developed and newly patented ‘high temperature’ traceable liquid, is guaranteed to withstand the harshest weather conditions found anywhere in the World for a minimum period of 5 years, with special solutions available that will last even longer.

SmartWater’s laboratory operates to ISO17025, an accreditation recognised by the American Society of Crime Lab Directors and works closely with law enforcement agencies throughout the World.

For further information on how we can protect your countries national cultural heritage, please email us.


in memoriam

Launched in November 2011, In Memoriam 2014 is a partnership between the War Memorials Trust and SmartWater Foundation that was established to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the First World War by providing greater protection to all UK war memorials.

The partnership offers SmartWater free of charge to custodians responsible for the upkeep and ongoing maintenance of war memorials. HRH The Duchess of Cornwall has supported the project on three separate occasions by publicly marking war memorials with SmartWater in England, Scotland and Wales.

Camilla with an umbrella
uv light shining


  • “Police Scotland continues to work alongside our communities and relevant partners to tackle housebreaking and protect people’s homes and belongings from acquisitive criminals. read more

    Superintendent Matt Richards, Police Scotland
  • “Theft of metal is a serious crime and has had a devastating effect on a large number of our customers since 2007. read more

    David Bonehill, Claims and Risk Services Director, Ecclesiastical Insurance Group (EIG)
  • “SmartWater has been central to reducing burglary in the borough of Brent and for building more confidence within our communities. read more

    Chief Superintendent Matt Gardner, Borough Commander for Brent, Metropolitan Police Service
  • “The after-sale service that SmartWater continues to provide to Thames Water is truly outstanding. As a Security Specialist I have to react very quickly to changing situations and knowing that I can rely on the support. read more

    Jon Lorimer, Security Specialist, Thames Water
  • “Our collaboration with SmartWater has enabled us to identify cable theft risks and to respond quickly to emerging trends in order to implement proactive mitigation plans, particularly through tactical deployments… read more

    Liam Sumpter, Area Director, Network Rail