SmartWater helps to stem rise in 5G arson attacks

Monday 17 August 2020 - SmartWater Comms

Press Release

Risk Management experts SmartWater are working with leading Telecoms companies to help protect them from attacks on their masts.

With many 5G mobile phone masts having been the subject of recent arson attacks, SmartWater has extended its long-running relationship with MBNL (Mobile Broadband Network Limited) to now include the protection of their assets from criminal damage.

Jointly owned by telecoms providers EE and Three, MBNL has – along with other telecom companies – been the subject of several mast attacks from conspiracy theorists falsely linking 5G technology with the Coronavirus. 

As a result, MBNL has started deploying a number of security enhancements across its mast sites, including the use of specially-adapted SmartWater ‘SmartSpray’ systems, that have been developed in consultation with MBNL.

SmartWater has an established track record of working with utilities and telecoms companies to reduce crime,  having already reduced incidents of metal and cable theft across the MBNL estate by a significant 77%. It is now expected for SmartWater to help replicate this success in reducing incidents of arson and criminal damage.

Each SmartWater forensic liquid contains a unique identifying code, which is registered to each site. Once a SmartSpray system is triggered, the offender is marked with this unique liquid and can be linked back to a specific crime scene, helping to secure criminal prosecution.

The liquid is invisible to the naked eye but fluoresces SmartWater’s trademarked yellow-green glow under UV light, which is how it is detected by Police throughout the UK.

MBNL will also be erecting high-visibility SmartWater deterrent signage around each site, warning offenders of the risk that they will be traced to the scene of their crime, if they decide to attack a protected mast site. 

SmartWater currently offer the only forensic system that is compliant with the Government’s Forensic Science Regulators Code of Practice which means it is the only solution that is currently admissible in court.  

As SmartWater carries a 100% conviction rate in court and has been used to convict thousands of criminals – including several high-profile crime gangs – professional criminals will actively avoid targeting sites using the technology. 

Gary Higgins, Chief Operating Officer of SmartWater, commented:

“At SmartWater we understand the importance of connectivity and the value of communication, we are proud of the work we have done to help the Telecoms Industry protect itself against criminal behaviour. 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.”

John Watkins, Manager of Operational Security at MBNL, added:

“At MBNL 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.”


SmartWater Press Office

Singleton PR

E: [email protected]

T: +44(0)1252 448 169

Notes to Editor

The SmartWater Group developed a strategy that resulted in the number of burglaries in areas where it was operated in London, UK being reduced by 25%, resulting in thousands of less victims, saving the City millions of dollars and the New Scotland Yard hours of police time. Its US clients include many State and Federal law enforcement agencies.

The Group is comprised of a number of companies providing a range of risk management services and products that are crafted to combat different security risks, from theft to counterfeiting.