POLICE ‘trap’ houses in Buckinghamshire containing household items marked with SelectaDNA are being used in an ongoing crackdown on burglary that has already resulted in successful convictions.The Thames Valley Police operation involves fully-furnished homes in Aylesbury Vale that look normal from the outside but have been fitted with covert high-tech specialist equipment.
Items of value inside the properties such as laptops, TVs and games consoles have been protected by property marking product SelectaDNA, a forensic solution that can link offenders directly to the crime scene through its unique DNA code.
Trap cars have already been used successfully in the county but this is the first time a tactic such as this has been used in houses in the Aylesbury Vale police area. Homes were rented from a local housing trust for the purpose of the scheme, which has already resulted in three people being convicted and a fourth arrested and on police bail.
Detective Inspector Dominic Williamson said: “Dwelling burglaries are down overall in the Aylesbury area, but the idea of the trap houses is that they are a pro-active measure by Thames Valley Police to keep burglary low and catch burglars in the act. “Word is spreading through the local criminal community not only about the trap houses but also about SelectaDNA. The word is that if you are caught with a marked item in your possession, you can be linked to the scene of the crime. This could result in conviction and a custodial sentence.”
DI Williamson continued: “Individuals are not always aware that they have been caught as a result of a police trap house operation because the covert tactics we deploy are often withheld. “These operations are excellent examples of partnership working where both private and social landlords have supported the police in tackling burglary. We are especially grateful to the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust which has supported this operation from the outset.”
With news that further trap houses are planned across the area, DI Williamson concluded: “The police warning to burglars is that any house you are looking to break into could be a police trap house.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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