A CRIME-BUSTING campaign which targeted burglary hot spots in Halton has been hailed a success after break-ins have dropped dramatically.

Burglaries in homes and businesses are down by almost 70 per cent, compared with the same time last year.

Clr Dave Cargill, board member for the Safer Halton Partnership, said: “This is great news.

“Crime figures are falling and people are feeling safer.”

It follows a series of crime prevention days at crime hot spots throughout Widnes and Runcorn.

Residents were offered free SmartWater anti-burglary solution.

This is a special liquid which can mark high value property with a unique DNA code.

It is virtually impossible to remove and shows up under UV light.

Experts say no two SmartWater systems have the same forensic code so every house or business can protect their property with thier own individual identification.

It proved an instant success with firms in Astmoor, Runcorn and Halebank industrial estate in Widnes in deterring burglars.

A spray system activated by intruders will immediately link the offender to the scene of the crime through a DNA code.

Home security advice, book marking kits and smoke alarms were distributed to more than 4,000 homes and many more businesses during the past year.

Halton Council teamed up with Cheshire Police, Cheshire Fire and Rescue, Cheshire Probation Service, Halton and Warrington youth offending teams, Halton Voluntary Action, Halton Housing Trust, other social landlords, Cheshire Chamber of Commerce, St Helens, Halton and Warrington Primary Care Trust and neighbourhood management to co-ordinate the campaign.