New technology helps protect islands parking machines

Isle of Wight Council (IWC) has deployed crime-busting SmartWater traps following a spate of thefts either from or of its 140 ageing Parkeon DG-Series Pay & Display (P&D) machines in the last year.
Developed by SmartWater Technology of Telford, Shropshire, the traps spray a uniquely coded substance on anyone who illegally tampers with the machines. The harmless substance remains on the person for months and shows up under UV light, thereby matching the suspect to the crime scene.
A sticker on each machine warns any would-be thief or vandal that SmartWater has been deployed by the Council, which is the first local authority in the UK to protect P&D terminals using the technology.

"Hopefully, the sticker itself will deter thefts but if someone does, nevertheless, attempt to remove the parking meter or get into the cash box, they should be prepared to be sprayed with SmartWater," said Cllr Barry Abraham, IWC cabinet member with responsibility for community safety.
The traps have been deployed in an initiative involving agencies from the IW Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP), including the Council and police, along with SmartWater and Parkeon. Both companies spent time on research and development to create a bespoke trap for the Islands P&D machines.

The DG-Series machines were widely recognised as the most secure on the market when they were installed in 1995. However, our latest machines are even more secure, thanks to the efforts of Parkeons dedicated, full-time security team, explained Bob Barnes, Parkeons UK Parking Director in welcoming this initiative. We are constantly re-evaluating the challenges that we face from the criminal fraternity and our objective is to be ahead of it at all times.
Chief Inspector Mark Bell from Hampshire Constabulary stated, "Parking meters have been targeted in recent months, on occasions by visitors to the Island. SmartWater can forensically link the culprit to the offence and we welcome the use of the technology to prevent crimes and to help the police to catch and convict any further offenders."

Media enquiries

Issued By:
Simon Butler, Media Officer
Tel: 01983 823546
Fax: 01983 823109
Email: simon.butler@iow.gov.uk
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