A NEW crime prevention initiative which uses the latest hi-tech DNA coding product is being introduced to schools in Inverness.
The Inverness Crime Prevention Panel (ICPP), working in partnership with Northern Constabulary, recently launched the new SelectaDNA scheme at Crown Primary School, with the aim of protecting expensive school equipment such as laptops, computers and whiteboards from theft.
Scottish MP Mary Scanlon said: "I have an active interest in local schools and am delighted to support this ICPP initiative which is helping to reduce crime and aiding the recovery of stolen goods.”
As a police-approved product, the SelectaDNA kit is already being used in many schools throughout the UK. Each kit is registered to the individual school and contains a unique locked-in code which means it cannot be replicated or decoded.
SelectaDNA can be applied directly onto school equipment in order to irrefutably mark the items, making them immediately less attractive to thieves as they would be harder to sell on. If an item is stolen and then recovered by police, the DNA marking can positively identify which school it belongs to.
Jim Ferguson, chair of ICPP, said: "Crime prevention is a crucial part of the fight against crime and SelectaDNA is a proven product, well- known to be a useful deterrent. We are delighted that Crown School has joined the programme.”
Although the school has not been a victim of theft, Crown's headmistress Mrs Cowie was keen to be involved in the scheme so that an effective deterrent is in place to help prevent crime happening in the future, keeping the school safe and secure.
Community Police Officer Malcolm Raeburn said: “Any instance of theft at school not only affects individual pupils and teachers but can also disrupt classes and the surrounding community.
“One of the first steps in preventing theft is to reduce the reward associated with the act. We chose SelectaDNA for its ease of application and reasonable cost."
PC Raeburn concluded: "We are very encouraged by the Crown School initiative, and in partnership with ICPP, hope to roll it out to all schools in Inverness in the very near future.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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