Europe Turns to Spraying Cell Tower Vandals With Green Dye


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Given the rise in cell towers, or “masts” being vandalized in Europe and particularly the U.K., one company has offered and installed a unique solution to identifying perpetrators: spray them. According to vendor SmartWater, potential offenders are 74 percent more likely to keep walking if they see a SmartSpray sign on display. 

Thanks to good publicity and a celebrated 100 percent conviction rate, the company said criminals are aware that if they trigger the SmartSpray defense system, they will wear the evidence of their infraction for weeks. Invisible to the naked eye, a squirt of the identifying liquid will illuminate in green under a UV lightsource, immediately linking a perpetrator to the scene of a crime. 

Vandals targeting 5G towers are increasingly more likely to encounter security measures like the SmartSpray system. As TotalTelecom notes, conspiracy theories about the dangers of 5G have gained a foothold causing the rise in vandalism. The unique identifying code in a blast of SmartSpray can match a vandal, copper thief, or arsonist to the specific site. The telltale UV glow will still be visible on skin and clothes for weeks, even after repeated washings. 

Overseas, Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL), jointly owned by telecom providers EE and Three, has had to ramp up security measures to protect their assets from criminal damage. John Watkins, Manager of Operational Security at MBNL, said, “We are proud of our close working relationship with SmartWater and their operations team and continue to build on our extensive relationship. We are continuing to use SmartWater solutions and advice to help protect our infrastructure while we #SpeedupBritain.”  

“At SmartWater we understand the importance of connectivity and the value of communication,” said SmartWater COO Gary Higgins. “We are proud of the work we have done to help the telecoms industry protect itself against criminal behavior. Anyone attacking MBNL Mast Sites now, thanks to our cutting edge technology, run the risk of being forensically linked to the scene of their crime.”  

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