NINE HUNDRED homes in an affluent village in Essex are to be protected by SelectaDNA in a new scheme to deter and prevent dwelling burglaries in the area.
The village of Wickham Bishops contains some multi-million pound properties and is a popular place to live for London-bound rail commuters.
Although a relatively small village, there have been 10 residential burglaries over the past year and local police are keen to reduce this figure and stamp out crime.
Sgt Phil Morley, from Southend Police, is responsible for implementing the scheme, together with Southminster Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) and with support from local Neighbourhood Watch organisations.
Sgt Morley said: “The village has been targeted by burglars in recent months and we are keen to help local residents’ protect their homes. We are making appointments to visit previous victims of crime and giving them SelectaDNA kits to mark their valuable property such as jewellery and electrical equipment.
“Shed theft has also been an issue, so we will be encouraging residents to use their kit to help protect garden equipment aswell.”
The kit contains a bottle of the SelectaDNA formula, which consists of an ultraviolet tracer and a unique DNA code. The clear liquid can be applied by residents to any household item to identify it as belonging to their property. If it is stolen and later recovered by police, the item can be scanned by police and traced back to the rightful owner via the DNA marking.
Over the coming weeks, public meetings and community briefings are being organised by the NPT to inform residents about SelectaDNA.
Meanwhile, deterrent warning signage has been erected at entrances and exits to the village so that would-be burglars are stopped in their tracks when they realise that homes are now protected, and that DNA can link them irrefutably to the crime scene.
Sgt Morley said one of the major factors in police choosing SelectaDNA over other forensic marking products was the fact that there is no annual licence fee.
He said: “With SelectaDNA there is no yearly subscription – just the purchase price - which makes this product very attractive to many users.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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