Plan to spray Sheffield pub yobs with special water divides opinion

A scheme to give door staff in pubs and clubs special water to spray on people causing trouble has sparked much debate among Star readers.

Thursday, 20th June 2019, 15:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th June 2019, 15:56 pm

The high tech ‘SmartWater’ liquid, which is only visible under special lights, will be squirted on those involved in violent incidents to help police officers identify potential offenders and witnesses.

Door staff.

Colourless and odourless, each batch of SmartWater used has its own DNA-type code, linking people sprayed with it to specific locations and incidents.

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The Sheffield city centre Business Improvement District is funding the scheme to help attract more visitors and boost safety.

The move has sparked a mixed reaction from Star readers, many of whom have taken to Facebook to make their feelings known on the issue.

Simon Glasby made the point “Fight kicks off in a club, boom spray everyone - caught up in something you have no part of.”

Sam Dixon is concerned that spraying people with SmartWater might “escalate a potentially dangerous situation even further.”

Lee Myers posted: “Surely this would only prove the person had been sprayed with the same water used at the incident, and given the water is portable would not prove the individual was actually at that location.

“The person doing the spraying could use it to spray someone who was not involved in any way.”

But Leigh Graham was in support of it and said simply: “About time.”

Under the new scheme staff at 25 venues have been trained in how to use SmartWater.

Sergeant Matt Burdett said: “Each tube of SmartWater has a unique chemical code, which means people sprayed with it can be traced directly back to the incident in which it was deployed.

“This product, along with footage from body worn cameras, can be really helpful when establishing the background to an incident.”