BT has launched a new drive to combat the rise in the theft of cables used in telephone networks across the UK.
In attempt to reduce the thefts and make it easier for the police to track down the metal thieves, BT has decided to embed its wires with SmartPaint. The solution is first being tested in Scotland.
SmartPaint is a forensically-coded invisible paint developed by British scientists designed to 'tag' the fingers, lips and faces of thieves for up to 60 days, making it easier for the police to identify them.
So far 1,000 people have been apprehended because of the use of SmartPaint.
The company has said that the rise in scrap copper prices is fuelling the rise in theft and has reported a rise of 9 per cent in the theft of copper wires in the UK over the last year.
Organised gangs target copper cables installed by telephone companies, railway authorities and local councils, disrupting services and inconveniencing the local populace.
BT estimated that the theft of copper metal wires resulted in a loss of £770 million every year for telephone companies.