A BRAND new ‘super’ secondary school has just opened its doors to pupils on Wirral, and with high value, state-of-the-art computer equipment on site, there’s no room for an ‘old school’ security system.
The £25 million eco-friendly Woodchurch High School is protecting its ICT equipment from theft using SelectaDNA, the latest in forensic property marking solutions.
Woodchurch High School in Carr Bridge Road is a large co-educational comprehensive secondary school, with approximately 1,300 pupils, 100 teaching staff and 120 support staff.
The new school building replaces an old school of the same name which first opened in 1957, and has been built as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme.
Ian Lowrie from Wirral Council’s Community Safety Team, is working closely with Wirral Children and Young People’s Department, which is funding the scheme.
Mr Lowrie said: “We already work hard to reduce the burglary risks for schools. All Wirral LEA schools have property marking, and CCTV, together with other security measures such as the Safer Schools Partnership, ensuring that school burglary and theft remains relatively low. However, it was felt that an effective deterrent was needed to make sure that thieves were not tempted to target the new school on the block. As members of the public are able to use the computing facilities at Woodchurch High, we needed to make sure that the equipment is securely marked.
“We were looking for a product that would not only stop theft happening – but prevent burglars even attempting theft in the first place.”
SelectaDNA, produced by Selectamark, is an advanced forensic property marking system which links burglars to crime scenes and provides an unbreakable chain of evidence in a court of law.
Ian Lowrie continued: “Selectamark was endorsed by our insurers and its forensic marking product SelectaDNA has the purpose of being an effective deterrent. We work closely with officers from Merseyside Police, co-located in the Community Safety Team, and with Trading Standards who check for property-marked items at second-hand shops and car boot sales."
SelectaDNA comes in a kit containing a bottle of DNA solution that can be easily applied to any items of value such as computers, laptops and overhead projectors. The solution doesn't damage the marked property in any way.
The unique DNA code in the solution links each item to the individual school. This means that if an item is stolen and later found by police it can be traced directly back to the school, not only allowing the property to be returned, but increasing the chance of the thief being arrested.
David Armstrong, Head of Planning and Development with Wirral’s Children and Young People’s Department, said: “We have fantastic new IT facilities at the school and are keen to protect all valuable items that are vulnerable to theft.”
The deterrent aspect of SelectaDNA plays a major part in any property marking scheme and stickers warning thieves that an item is marked are supplied with every kit. High visibility deterrent signs are being attached around the perimeter of Woodchurch High.
David Armstrong continued: “When any school has equipment stolen it can have a disruptive effect on pupils and teachers and impacts greatly on the way lessons are planned. We are determined to stop that from happening and will be using SelectaDNA to protect all our IT and other equipment.”
Woodchurch High School is just one of many schools throughout the UK using forensic marking to deter theft. All 300 schools in the Oxfordshire area are currently being protected by SelectaDNA, as well as all schools in the London Borough of Havering, and more than 170 schools in Dorset.
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
Back to 2010 News Stories