Greater Manchester will be one of the areas of the country to trial the Co-op’s Smartwater Fog Cannons to combat crime in communities.
The forensic first is designed to deter crime by deploying a dense fog to obscure vision while linking criminals and stolen goods back to the scene of a crime.
The roll-out comes against a backdrop of rising retail crime, with the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) showing the direct costs of crime rising to over £700 million.
The fog cannons are particularly effective in the kiosk area – a target for criminal behaviour due to the sale of age restricted products.
Once activated, the fog obscures an intruder’s vision, and covers the criminal in a spray containing SmartWater’s unique forensic signature. Increasing the risk to criminals of stolen goods being tracked by Police, and helping to secure convictions.
Invisible to the naked eye, an amount of SmartWater spray equivalent in size to a speck of dust can help Police with identification. It is guaranteed to last at least five years.
Andrew Needham, Co-op Head of Retail Loss and Costs, said:“Safety and security is our number one priority. We know that violence and crime is about much more than statistics, it is about its impact on people’s lives and the communities in which they live and work. As a community-based organisation we see the impact of social issues in our stores, and we’re committed to playing our part and working together to do all we can to protect colleagues and make our communities safer.”