LOCAL businesses are supporting the SelectaDNA forensic marking initiative launched by Cheshire Police, to make it more difficult for criminals to sell on stolen property.
Cheshire Police is working closely with second-hand shops and scrap metal merchants as part of Operation Shield.
The operation, which launched in March, is targeting criminals who commit theft and burglary. As part of the initiative over 2,000 property marking kits (which consist of a traceable liquid that residents can use to forensically mark valuables) are being distributed, making it more difficult for criminals to sell property they have stolen.
The SelectaDNA system is unique to each address and helps to identify stolen items if they are recovered – no matter where in the country they are found.
Detective Inspector Peter Merrill said: “This is a great opportunity for us to work together with local businesses to combat burglaries by making it difficult for criminals to sell on stolen property. The use of the forensic marking system means that it is easier for shops and other places, which handle second hand items, to check to see if it actually belongs to the person bringing it into their premises.
“We recover a lot of items, which are believed to be stolen, but often struggle to reunite them with their owners simply because we have no way of knowing who they are. With this system your property can be traced back to you quickly and easily even if it is recovered from the other end of the country.”
Richard Pilgrim, Head of Corporate stores at Cash Converters, said: “Staff at our network of 225 stores across the UK have great working relationships with their local police and we are always looking for innovative ways to build on these relationships to help tackle crime and prevent stolen goods from being sold in store.
“As the UK’s largest second hand retailer, Cash Converters has always been proud of the extensive systems and processes in place to prevent crime. The initiative is yet another way to help reduce crime and help to return stolen goods to rightful owners.”
Peter Hill manager of Karalius Brothers Scrap in Widnes said; “We fully support Cheshire Police and Operation Shield in their efforts to deter the criminal element in society from operating in the Scrap Metal Recycling Industry.”
As part of the operation Cheshire Police has also written to 350 known offenders to make them aware of the risks to them should they decide to commit crime in an Operation Shield protected area.
Cheshire police also has access to a specially trained sniffer dog called Jazz, which is owned by SelectaDNA. The dog searches out items marked with the unique DNA system to protect valuables – such as electrical items and jewellery. The system is unique to each address and helps to identify stolen items if they are recovered.
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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