Firefighters are turning to crime deterrent – SmartWater – after thieves risked lives by stealing lifesaving equipment from fire stations.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is hoping to protect the remaining equipment by marking it with SmartWater, a marking system only visible under UV light.

“Security fences, door entry systems, motion detectors and CCTV are also being installed to protect fire stations in a crime prevention exercise predicted to cost £150,000” explained John Das Gupta, area manager for the Fire and Rescue Service.

This reinforcement comes after thieves stole equipment worth more than £70,000 from fire stations in Albrighton and Newport.

Firefighters were unable to attend emergency 999 calls for a number of hours until the equipment was replaced.

Gary Higgins, director of security services at SmartWater said: “Shropshire is the home of SmartWater and we are proud to be working with Shropshire Fire and Rescue to help protect our fire stations and lifesaving equipment.

“SmartWater maintains a 100 per cent conviction rate when used as evidence in court and has aided the successful conviction of hundreds of criminals. As a result, it is considered to be a powerful deterrent, which will directly benefit Shropshire Fire and Rescue by making their assets significantly less attractive to thieves.”