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Community College Uses DNA To Battle Thieves

COMPUTERS, laptops, projectors and other high value electronic equipment belonging to a community college in Battle, East Sussex, are being protected from theft by SelectaDNA forensic marking.

Claverham Community College in North Trade Road is a mixed comprehensive school for 1,150 pupils aged 11-16+ and a college, where evening classes take place for local residents.

The college is a busy hub for the Battle community but last year suffered from several incidents of criminal damage and anti-social behaviour.
As part of a new crime reduction scheme from the Safer Rother Partnership, all 450 computers and laptops at the college are being protectively marked with SelectaDNA, aswell as overhead projectors and other expensive IT equipment.

SelectaDNA, produced by Selectamark, comes in a kit containing a bottle of DNA solution that can be easily applied to any items of value. The solution doesn't damage the marked property in any way.
The unique DNA code in the solution links each item to the individual school. This means that if an item is stolen and later found by police it can be traced directly back to the school, not only allowing the property to be returned, but increasing the chance of the thief being arrested.

Carol Studley, Community Safety Officer at Sussex Police said: “We are working very hard to reduce the risk of burglary at Claverham. There are some excellent IT facilities at the school and by using SelectaDNA we are protecting valuable items that are vulnerable to theft.”

The deterrent aspect of SelectaDNA plays a major part in any property marking scheme and stickers warning thieves that an item is marked are supplied with every kit. High visibility deterrent signs are also being fitted to the perimeter fencing of the College.

Chief Inspector Heather Keating, Chair of the Safer Rother Partnership, is keen to emphasize the dual message behind the initiative.
CI Keating said: “The Partnership is not only supporting the school, which plays a major role in the community, by helping to protect its facilities, but we also want to send a message to criminals that there is really no point targeting the school as they are very likely to get caught if they try to sell on stolen items.”

Claverham Community College is just one of many schools throughout the UK using forensic marking to deter theft. Woodchurch High School, a new £25 million ‘superschool’ on the Wirral, has protected all of its state of the art IT equipment with SelectaDNA.

All 300 schools in the Oxfordshire area are currently being protected by SelectaDNA, as well as all schools in the London Borough of Havering, and more than 170 schools in Dorset.

For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.

Mobile: +44(0)7905 623819
Email: angela.singleton@selectamark.co.uk
Twitter: @selectadna

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