A RESIDENTIAL security initiative has just been launched in the Chickenley area of Dewsbury involving the use of SelectaDNA in around 300 homes.
Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH), Kirklees Council and West Yorkshire Police are working together on the new scheme which involves officers from KNH and the police visiting households to give them SelectaDNA kits to protect their valuables.
The project, initially proposed by local councillor Cathy Scott, is being funded by the Neighbourhood Focus regeneration scheme, which is enabling KNH to improve the physical environment on the estate and carry out crime prevention initiatives in the area. It is part of a larger scheme that aims to reduce inequalities across the district in areas such as poverty, crime, health and quality of life.
The DNA kits are supplied by security company Selectamark and enable people to permanently mark any of their electronic items, jewellery or garden tools with a special solution containing a unique DNA code.
If a marked item is stolen and recovered, police can analyse the code and trace it back to the registered household. SelectaDNA has been successfully used in crime reduction initiatives throughout the UK as burglars know that it can incriminate them, leading to arrest.
Local residents are delighted with the initiative. Julie Tillotson, Secretary of Chickenley tenants and residents association (TRA) and a member of Chickenley Safety Action Group, said “This is a good idea and will help to make people feel safer. The Council and KNH are doing something to make Chickenley feel more secure and a better place to live.”
Satnam Basram, KNH’s Neighbourhood Operations Manager for Dewsbury said: “The DNA initiative is one of many things happening in the area. Staff working in Chickenley say there is a real buzz in the air and a great sense of agencies working together!"
Deputy leader of the Council and Cabinet member for regeneration and housing, Cllr David Sheard said: “There is a real gap between areas such as Chickenley and other parts of Kirklees. We want to start closing that gap. Schemes like this show that the council is committed to its work around tackling inequalities, improving people’s lives and making a real difference in communities.”
Ward Councillor Paul Kane, who chairs the Dewsbury Regeneration Board and the Narrowing The Gap Working Party, said: “A key part of the neighbourhood focus programme has been to find out what local people’s priorities are and come up with ways to respond. Crime prevention is a major concern for both tenants and residents in Chickenley, so I’m delighted that we’re able to invest in a scheme such as this that will have a genuine and long-lasting impact in the area.”
Inspector Jenny Thompson of the Dewsbury and Mirfield NPT said: "This is a great project and one that will give as many people as possible the chance to get their valuable possessions marked.
“As well as the property marking, this project has also given us the ideal opportunity to speak to people on the estate and offer them crime prevention advice.
“The signage that is up on the estate, warning any possible burglars and thieves that we have been working in the area, will also hopefully act as a deterrent."
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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