POLICE in West London are making their mark in the battle against lead theft by using SelectaDNA Grease to protect a number of churches in the area.
The Ealing Broadway Safer Neighbourhood Team conducted a survey of vulnerable properties including churches to decide where best to allocate the kits.
Ten local churches have now been given the special forensic grease to help them deter metal theft.
SelectaDNA Grease contains a unique code which shows up under ultraviolet light. When painted onto lead or other property it is very difficult to remove and can be traced back to where it has been registered to. It also transfers onto the skin and clothing of criminals who do not realise they are handling the invisible substance.
As the grease is weatherproof, it can be used over large areas such as lead roofs, parapets, copper piping and even on church bells.
One of the churches to benefit from the new metal theft clampdown is Kingsdown Methodist Church, West Ealing, which was struck by raiders three times in December 2010, causing a total repair bill of £14,000.
Ken Pennells, Property Steward for Kingsdown Methodist Church, said: “We're putting it on all the metal we've got and displaying notices saying it’s there so hopefully it will deter people. And we've replaced the lead with a substitute which costs nearly as much to put up but has no value to thieves.”
Mr Pennells continued: “Our insurance only covered half of the costs so we had to use money for the development of the back of the church where we're trying to build disabled facilities. But hopefully SelectaDNA Grease will stop it happening again.”
Sergeant James Rawlinson of Ealing Broadway SNT, said: “We hope this initiative will protect these churches from thefts and are grateful to Ealing Council for supplying the marking kits.
“Marking metals with suitable products increases the risks of prosecution for thieves and handlers alike and we hope this scheme will discourage thefts in future.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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