ONE YEAR on from the launch of a highly successful inner city crime reduction scheme using SelectaDNA, burglaries have been reduced by up to 50% and theft from cars has also decreased.
The scheme was introduced in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham after several streets in the Shepherd’s Bush area were identified as being targets for persistent burglary.
Askew Safer Neighbourhoods Team together with local Neighbourhood Watch organisations conducted 400 door-to-door house calls to show residents how to protect their valuable belongings and deter theft using SelectaDNA forensic marking kits.
The kit allows residents to mark and protect valuable items such as flatscreen TVs, laptops, iPods, jewellery and games consoles. Would-be criminals are made aware of its use through warning labels, deterrent window stickers and outdoor signage.
Thanks to SelectaDNA, an expensive mobile phone was recently reunited with its owner who had accidentally left it in the local Co-op Store on Askew Road.
A shop assistant reported the lost phone to the police and a member of the Safer Neighbourhood team examined it and found a SelectaDNA sticker on the back. Using a special UV torch to read the forensic marking, the Police were able to restore the phone to its rightful owner within a matter of minutes.
PC Adrian Simmons, Crime Prevention Officer at Hammersmith Police Station, said: “We have had some excellent feedback from Shepherd’s Bush residents about the scheme. There had been a significant problem with persistent burglary in some streets in that area, which has now been reduced by up to 50%.
“As a result, this has decreased the amount of time our police officers spend processing paperwork relating to burglary offences.”
Car crime was also a problem in the Shepherd’s Bush ‘hotspot’. PC Simmons said: “Once we had reduced burglaries, there was a small rise in theft from motor vehicles. We advised residents to use SelectaDNA stickers in their cars as a low cost deterrent and as a result car theft is definitely going down.”
PC Adrian Simmons concluded: "In summary, our results illustrate the system’s effectiveness on several fronts. It has helped achieve a significant reduction in both burglary and theft from cars, plus its potential for enabling speedy restoration of property has been proved.
“In addition, we have seen reductions in the time Police need to spend investigating and following up offences, plus an improvement in community spirit via the focus SelectaDNA has given the local Neighbourhood Watches.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
Back to 2009 News Stories