VULNERABLE properties in the Wyre, Lancashire, are being protected by SelectaDNA Gel to help combat metal thieves.
Funded by the Wyre Community Safety Partnership, the property marking kits contain a DNA-based gel which is used to coat items that may prove tempting to metal thieves. The gel fluoresces under ultra violet lighting, either on the property itself or the person that has handled it.
Police officers in Wyre will be carrying ultra violet torches when conducting stop checks, house searches and while making visits to scrap metal yards. If traces of the gel are then discovered, the substance’s unique DNA-style code will enable officers to trace the property back to the source where it originated from.
Inspector Gary Roberts, Lancashire Police, said: “Metal theft is a significant issue for us and it can cause real problems for the victims. Replacing stolen materials can be expensive but there can be additional costs if the thieves have caused damage while removing the metal, or if there is flooding as a result of the metal being taken from roofs or windows.”
He continued: “These kits will help us identify stolen property and people who have been involved in carrying out this type of crime. Metal theft will not be tolerated and we will proactively target criminals that steal metal or assist in the disposal of stolen metal.
“I want to send a clear message to criminals that if they commit metal theft in Wyre, they will be caught and brought to justice.”
Councillor Roger Berry, cabinet member with responsibility for community safety on Wyre Council, said: "We're pleased to be able to provide these kits and hope they will go some way to tackling metal thefts and burglaries in the area.
"Residents need to make sure that they take precautions to protect their property, including securing any equipment they may have in their gardens and sheds. People also need to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police."
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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