RETAILERS in Grimsby are winning the fight against crime after spending a grant from the Home Office on SelectaDNA property marking kits to protect their businesses against burglary.
Abbeygate is a cluster of 17 retail outlets in Grimsby town centre and shop owners have worked alongside North East Lincolnshire Council’s Safer and Stronger Communities team to secure the Small Retailers Capital Grant Funding.
SelectaDNA works by irrefutably linking criminals to burglaries and break-ins. The product consists of a water-based adhesive containing a locked-in DNA code, a UV tracer and a series of microdots which can be easily applied to electronic goods, jewellery and other valuable items of retail stock.
If any goods are stolen from Abbeygate and recovered by police they can be traced back to the individual retailer. The DNA marking has the added benefit of undeniably placing the burglar at the crime scene, increasing chances of a police conviction.
Apart from the SelectaDNA kits (which have been allocated to each retailer), the funding is also being used to update CCTV coverage and provide electronic ‘alert boxes’, which allow shop owners to communicate with each other at the touch of a button if they feel threatened or are concerned by any activity in or around Abbeygate.
Councillor Steve Beasant, the council’s portfolio holder for community safety and public protection, said: “These shops have suffered high levels of shop lifting, anti-social behaviour and burglary over the past few years.
“The council has worked closely with the Abbeygate Development Company to secure this funding, which will help to deter crime, install confidence and assist the police in catching criminals and in tracing recovered stolen property.”
Alan Sanders, managing agent for the Abbeygate Development Company, said: “The new security measures have not only brought the retailers closer together, but have also brought a greater cohesion than we have ever had - people are now looking out for each other.
“It sends out a warning to a very small minority of undesirables who are not welcome and in turn it has enhanced the shopping experience for our customers so everyone can enjoy a pleasant shopping experience.”
PC Ryan Stratton, a neighbourhood beat manager for Humberside Police, said: “I have been working with local businesses to try and reduce crime in and around the town centre. The equipment that has been purchased with the money obtained from this grant will make Abbeygate a safer place for both customers and staff.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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