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DNA Warning To Burglars

by msecadm4921

More than 450 homes in Torbay have had property marked in a joint project between Devon and Cornwall Police and the Torbay Community Safety Team.

The product used is SelectaDNA. It can be used to mark personal items such as laptops, games consoles, iPods, mobile phones, jewellery, electronic equipment and SatNav systems. The product dries within a minute and is visible using an ultra-violet lamp.

James Brown, sales director at Selectamark, which produces SelectaDNA, said: "If an item marked with SelectaDNA is stolen and then recovered by police, it can be identified and returned to its rightful owner. Most significantly though, it acts as a massive deterrent to thieves, as marked goods are extremely difficult to sell on, and if caught with them the thief is instantly linked to the crime."

Funded by Safer Communities, the DNA marking kits are going to residents in selected areas by police local Neighbourhood Teams. Each kit contains a bottle of the SelectaDNA formula, deterrent warning stickers, instructions on how to apply the product and free registration onto a police-approved database. Street signs are also being erected to deter criminals from the area and warn
them that all property is DNA marked, registered and traceable.

Louisa Aiton, Cabinet Member for Community said: “Torbay is a safe place to live but we cannot afford to be complacent. Through our partnership working we aim to drive crime down even further. This is an excellent initiative which I am sure will be extremely effective and help reduce burglaries in the bay, it not only aims to reduce crime but it increases the chance of thieves being caught and prosecuted.”

DI Thorne of Torbay’s Crime Investigation Team said: “This method of property marking has seen some excellent results in other parts of the country where burglary rates have dropped by as much as 85 per cent. It is a very effective tool in helping to make communities safer which is why we are working alongside Safer Communities in allocating time and resources to introduce the technique to Torbay.”

He added: “We want to help residents protect their properties. Our officers are going door-to-door explaining the scheme to residents and offering advice on how best to protect their homes. We are encouraging residents to use the deterrent stickers supplied with the kit on their front and back windows to indicate to potential thieves that their property is protected.

DI Thorne concluded: "One of the main advantages of using a marking product like SelectaDNA is that it is virtually impossible to remove traces of it and identification can be made from tiny specks the size of a pin head. This makes our job a lot easier. It acts as a deterrent to thieves in the first instance – but if items are stolen, it is much easier for us to catch the perpetrators."

Devon & Cornwall Constabulary are also encouraging residents to
consider purchasing property-marking equipment from accredited
companies such as Selectamark, which is supporting the police in the campaign.

And more than 700 homes in a ‘hotspot’ area of Dudley are to benefit from DNA property marking.

As part of a new police-backed scheme known as Operation Identify, local officers with Dudley’s Community Safety Partnership are helping residents of the Kates Hill area to mark any valuable household items such as laptops, computers, flatscreen TVs, DVD players, iPods and SatNav systems.

Bob Dimmock, Performance and Commissioning Manager, Dudley Community Safety Team, said: “A SelectaDNA forensic marking kit is available to all residents of Kates Hill so that they can protect their valuables from the risk of theft. We chose SelectaDNA because it is a very easy product to use. We have literally been able to show the residents how to mark one or two items and then they have been able to do the rest themselves.”

The kits supplied by The Partnership contain a bottle of the
SelectaDNA formula, which consists of an ultraviolet tracer and a
unique DNA code. The clear liquid can be applied by residents to any household item to identify it as belonging to their property. If it is stolen and later recovered by police, the item can be scanned by police and traced back to the rightful owner via the DNA marking.

Bob Dimmock continued: “We are encouraging residents to use the
deterrent stickers supplied with the kit on their front and back
windows to indicate to would-be thieves that their property is
protected. Residents have been keen to get involved with the scheme and we are very encouraged by the uptake.”

Although overall burglary figures in Dudley have dropped by 24pc since April 2005, Councillor Anne Millward, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “We are not complacent and through partnership working we aim to drive crime down even further.

“This is an excellent initiative which I am sure will be extremely effective and help reduce burglaries in the borough, it not only aims to reduce crime but it increases the chance of thieves being caught and prosecuted.”

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