Hi-tech move to protect Stockton war memorials

Image caption,
Stockton Cenotaph will be one of the structures marked with the liquid

A hi-tech solution is being used in a bid to protect Stockton's war memorials from metal thieves.

The council is applying Smartwater to all monuments with metal plaques.

The invisible liquid, which can withstand burning or melting, contains coded information, which can be seen under ultra-violet light.

This would make any metal item identifiable and easier to track if stolen. It also aims to make it easier to bring the thief to justice.

Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton Council's cabinet member for housing and community safety, said: "Communities have created war memorials to honour and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

"Sadly, as scrap metal prices soar, there have been many recent reports from across the UK of the theft of metal plaques from war memorials, and I hope our action will help prevent this in Stockton."

Roger Bannister, President of the Stockton, Yarm and District Branch of the Royal British Legion, said: "This is a splendid idea which will help protect our war memorials, and I am sure it will prove a success.

"War memorials are very special places and, with conflicts still claiming lives, they are every bit as relevant today as when they first became a common sight following the First World War."

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