RESIDENTS of rural communities in the New Forest are fighting back against metal theft by using SelectaDNA Trace to protect their farm machinery and other types of metal.
Forest homes, farms, shops, churches and schools have all been affected by metal theft recently, with roof lead, manhole covers, copper cables, aluminium road signs, ornate church flashing, cattle troughs and farm batteries being stolen.
But the Safer New Forest Partnership, which includes New Forest District Council, Hampshire police, fire service and probation is taking action against these rural crimes and has purchased SelectaDNA Trace kits for use by vulnerable residents or repeat victims in the community.
The DNA kits are being handed out by the Country Watch police teams to enable people to permanently mark any of their property with the special Trace 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 keeper.
NFDC portfolio holder for housing and communities, Councillor Jill Cleary welcomed the initiative. She said “Use of the SelectaDNA Trace kits will help to make people feel more secure about their property and make the forest an even better place to live.”
New Forest Chief Inspector Lucy Hutson, said: "This project will help us in our crackdown on metal thieves and give more farmers and residents the opportunity to get their valuable possessions marked. Signage will also go up at properties using the DNA technology, warning possible burglars that we are working in the area, to act as a deterrent."
CI Hutton added: “As well as the property marking, this initiative will give us the ideal opportunity to speak to people and offer them crime prevention advice.
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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