‘Rising issue’: Police warning drivers of catalytic converter thefts and how to prevent it

Catalytic Converter: How the device helps reduce emissions

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Catalytic converters reduce the amount of harmful pollutants by taking these gases and converting them into water vapour and less harmful gases via a series of chemical reactions. They do however contain valuable metals which can be more valuable than gold, making them a perfect target for thieves.

The police are also warning drivers that they are very easy to remove.

To help combat the crime wave, Nottinghamshire Police are now providing free “smart water” kits.

A clampdown on catalytic converter thieves was launched by Nottinghamshire Police earlier this year after national statistics suggested there had been a 104 percent rise in devices being stolen between 2019 and 2020.

In Nottinghamshire, more than 90 were stolen during the first four months of 2021, with nine catalytic converters taken from cars across the county in a single night in March.

Operation Yachtsman saw detectives in Nottingham working with neighbourhood and response officers to share information and take an intelligence driven and targeted approach to offenders and hotspots.

The SmartWater kit is a simple liquid which can be painted on to the catalytic converter of the vehicle.

If it is stolen, the SmartWater team only needs a speck of the solution to identify the vehicle it came from, enabling the police to prosecute thieves.

PC Hannah Strong came up with the idea and hopes it will protect drivers.

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She said: “Catalytic converter theft is a rising issue in our communities and it’s something we can tackle primarily with crime prevention methods and advice.

“As local policing teams, we have stocks of forensic marking liquid SmartWater, which is perfect to use as a deterrent as it’s easily detectable by legitimate scrap yards and metal traders.

“The kits are available from the front counter of Radford Road Police Station.

“There are a limited number of kits available, so it is on a first come, first served basis.

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