RESIDENTS in Cheltenham are benefitting from the latest crime-fighting technology as police recently delivered SelectaDNA forensic marking kits to help them protect their homes and property.
The residents of Winstonian Road in Fairview are the first in the county to benefit from the product and Gloucestershire Constabulary are planning to increase its use to other areas over the forthcoming months.
Every home that was visited by local police received a crime prevention pack which included a SelectaDNA forensic coding kit, a marking system that can be used quickly and easily to protect property and deter theft.
Police Community Support Officer Steve Benbow, who recently organised a Crime Prevention Day in Winstonian Road, said he was pleased to be able to bring a new product to help reduce crime in the local community.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this to the local residents,” PCSO Benbow said. “SelectaDNA is really quick and easy to use and my colleagues and I will be happy to explain to people how it works.
“We also hope that the community will help us to spread the message that the street’s property is marked with a unique code and anyone thinking of stealing will be caught much more easily.”
He added: “This is a significant way to help reduce crime, as well as a great opportunity for us to increase the community’s confidence in us by working together to keep Winstonian Road a safe and pleasant place to live.”
Becky Cook, one of the residents of the road, said: “It was great to have these local officers here and I was definitely happy to sign up with SelectaDNA, anything that means my home and property are more secure.”
SelectaDNA is a liquid solution which contains a unique DNA-type code. Each home will have its own code which can conclusively link property to its owners, meaning it can be identified immediately, making stolen goods virtually worthless to thieves.
High-value items such as computers, TVs, iPods, mobile phones, motorbikes and scooters, SatNavs, horse tack and much more can be marked with the product.
Crime Reduction Officer for Cheltenham, PC Tim Cuthbert said: “Our aim is to make the county as safe and crime free as possible and SelectaDNA is one of a number of tools we now have in our kit for helping people protect their homes and property.”
SelectaDNA has been proven in other areas of the UK to reduce thefts by up to 85% in some cases, especially where people are made aware of its use through warning labels, window stickers and outdoor signage.
PC Cuthbert added: “Posters stating that SelectaDNA is being used in the area have also been put up to act as a warning to any potential thieves. We can also scan criminals as they come in to custody for traces of the product which can link them to the crime scene.”
James Brown, sales director for Selectamark, the company that produces SelectaDNA, said: "We are delighted to be supplying Gloucestershire Constabulary with our SelectaDNA property marking kits to help drive down burglaries in the Cheltenham area.
“As part of the project, we have trained over 30 officers from the Cheltenham and Tewkesbury division of the county, and it was fantastic to see their enthusiasm for the product, and their determination to use it to both drive acquisitive crime down and to identify recovered property which has been marked."
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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