A NEW DNA spray application has been developed by Selectamark's team of researchers to stop the growing problem of gas canister theft.
Responding to a direct Police request for a solution to the dangerous crime, the team has devised a forensic spray product that can be inserted into the base of an empty gas canister to act as a 'bait' to trap thieves.
With warning signage erected on a storage site, the product can also be used to deter theft in the first instance.
Thieves have been cutting through wire fences and barriers to steal canisters from industrial storehouses, private homes and caravan sites. Medical gas canisters are also being taken from hospital outbuildings.
For safety reasons, the canisters have to be stored a certain distance away from any building, but this makes them vulnerable to theft as they are often left in unmanned areas. The canisters are valuable as thieves often take them for personal use, to trade them in or sell them for scrap.
With the SelectaDNA system concealed inside, if a thief lifts a bait canister it would automatically squirt them witha burst of invisible, synthetic DNA spray. The spray stays on skin and clothing for up to three weeks and provides legal evidence that can link the criminal to the crime.
Police routinely scan for traces of SelectaDNA in custody suites, and if they find it, it can help police to obtain a conviction. Police say they often know who the offenders are, but don’t have evidence to convict them or link them to the crime. DNA is that link.
The same DNA spray technology that is being used in gas canisters has already been a successful deterrent when fitted into intruder alarm systems in retail outlets across the UK and overseas.
Andrew Knights, managing director of Selectamark said: "Our new spray product has been developed to help police deal effectively with the dangerous problem of gas canister theft and to help them convict criminals they suspect are guilty."
He continued: "The product also works as a highly effective deterrent and is ideal for use by hospitals, caravan parks, businesses or individuals who want to protect their valuable stock of canisters."
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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