A MAJOR anti-burglary initiative has been launched in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham involving 1,000 homes in the Valence Park area.
Residents are being given the chance to mark their valuable personal possessions using forensic property marking system SelectaDNA.
The scheme is part of a joint initiative between the local council and Barking & Dagenham Police and public signs have already been put up in the area to warn potential burglars that properties are DNA protected.
Valence ward currently has the lowest percentage of reported crime across the borough and local officers are keen to keep it that way. There is a police priority goal to reduce residential burglary across the borough by 2.4% for 2008/09.
Detective Chief Inspector Ellie O'Connor from Barking and Dagenham Police said: "Opting for property marking is one of many ways that the public can assist police in reducing burglary. Adopting a locking up routine combined with security marking can drastically reduce your chance of becoming a victim of burglary. The police/council partnership intends to make it very difficult for someone to come into your home and take your possessions."
SelectaDNA is a new forensic marking system which can protect personal items of value such as laptops, flatscreen TVs, mobile phones and iPods.
Each kit contains 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 items to identify them as belonging to their property.
SelectaDNA is easy to apply and when dry, is virtually impossible to remove. It is invisible to the naked eye, but if an item is stolen and later recovered by police, it can be scanned using a UV light and traced back to the rightful owner via the DNA marking.
Tamper resistant stickers are supplied with each SelectaDNA kit to deter criminals away from any marked items.
Councillor Jeanne Alexander, Barking and Dagenham Council Cabinet Member for Safer Neighbourhoods and Communities, said: "There has been a lot of media coverage recently about how burglary is on the increase because of the recession. It is vital that we use these products to show that we will not let the borough become a soft touch for burglars."
She continued: "The beauty of SelectaDNA is its deterrent value. Burglars know that DNA is helping police convict criminals on a daily basis and that's why they stay well away from homes and belongings which are DNA protected."
Many anti-burglary schemes across the UK have already been launched using SelectaDNA and it has been proven that by marking belongings and displaying warning stickers, burglary can be reduced by up to 85 per cent.
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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