A POLICE force is using "DNA" in an effort to cut a city's house burglaries.

Officers in Sunderland will use Smart Water, a crime prevention property marking device which leaves a unique but invisible mark on property.

Each dose contains a unique mixture registered to the homeowner. Any recovered stolen property can be identified by the individual mark through ultraviolet lights. Police will also maintain a Smart Water database.

Crime prevention officer PC Joe Bradley said: "This technique will be used throughout Sunderland City.

"Through analysis of crime patterns we will be able to pinpoint areas identified as targets and visit these homes to help protect residents from thieves."

The scheme has been funded by the Home Office, which allocated £5,000 towards house burglary reduction in Sunderland.

Officers will visit residents to help people use the product and will evaluate its success