Plain clothes police officers will be actively pursuing shoplifters this November as part of collaborative efforts to safeguard retailers in Huddersfield.

Members of the Huddersfield Town Centre Team have commenced “covert” patrols in popular stores in the lead-up to Christmas, aiming to apprehend thieves in the act and provide reassurance to retailers.

This initiative is in support of the implementation of Smart Water forensic spray across several participating businesses by the Huddersfield Business Improvement District (BID). Huddersfield BID, in collaboration with West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Combined Authority, is working to introduce the SmartWater anti-theft solution to businesses within the Huddersfield BID zone in the town centre.

SmartWater is a forensic marking technology already in use in other parts of West Yorkshire. It involves marking products on shop floors, allowing stolen items to be traced back to their origin.

Sergeant Toni Ramsden of the Huddersfield Town Centre Team stated, “We have closely collaborated with Huddersfield BID and are pleased to support the launch of SmartWater in Huddersfield. DNA marking products like SmartWater have proven highly effective in other towns and cities in West Yorkshire, aiding in the detection of shoplifting and prosecution of offenders.”

The rollout in Huddersfield is being reinforced by increased police patrols in the town centre, including the deployment of plainclothes officers to monitor stores and apprehend shoplifters in the act.

Sergeant Toni Ramsden of the Huddersfield Town Centre Team, said: “We have been working very closely with Huddersfield BID and have been delighted to collaborate with them on their launch of SmartWater in Huddersfield.

“DNA marking products such as SmartWater have been highly successful when deployed in other towns and cities in West Yorkshire, providing a real asset in helping us detect shoplifting and prosecute offenders.

“We are supporting the roll out in Huddersfield with increased policing patrols in the town centre, including the deployment of plain clothes officers to patrol stores and catch shoplifters in the act.

“Those tempted to steal from retailers should be warned that undercover police are patrolling to watch for them and, if they do steal SmartWater marked products, they will be ‘tagged’ and linked directly to the offence.

“We are collaborating very closely with stores through Huddersfield BID and our other partnership networks, are taking action against thieves, and are determined to help them fight back against store theft.”

Huddersfield BID Manager Sam Sharp said: “SmartWater is an effective forensic marking system that has been found to be more identifiable and accurate than DNA. SmartWater has a 100% conviction rate in contested court cases and is an excellent deterrent against shoplifters and thieves.

“One of BID’s key objectives is to create a safer Huddersfield and the SmartWater project sends a clear message to would-be shoplifters that we are fighting back.

“We understand the financial loss and damage that retail theft causes to hardworking businesses, which is why the SmartWater scheme, along with other Huddersfield BID initiatives, is such an important project.

“Potential shoplifters entering our town should know that we are a SmartWater town, we have Street Rangers and we have a Shoplink Radio scheme. We are a town centre business community that works together, shares knowledge and is determined to make a positive impact.”

Ms Sharp added SmartWater was free to levy-paying shops and businesses within the Huddersfield BID zone.

She said: “Deploying SmartWater in Huddersfield and displaying prominent signage around the town centre and inside participating stores will support everybody in the fight against retail crime.

“Our aim is to make Huddersfield a safe and attractive place to visit, work and live and SmartWater is just one of the ways we are doing that alongside our Street Rangers who provide daily patrols and a presence on the streets.”

In conclusion, she expressed the community’s commitment to making Huddersfield a safe and appealing place through initiatives like SmartWater, alongside Street Rangers who provide daily patrols and a visible presence on the streets.

Further information can be found at