A NEW scheme using SelectaDNA to tackle metal theft and burglary on a housing estate in Surrey is already proving successful, with metal theft stopping instantly.
The initiative has been launched by Surrey Police in partnership with Elmbridge Housing Trust and Elmbridge Community Safety Partnership. Together, they have been offering security advice and 400 SelectaDNA property marking kits to residents of the St John’s estate in Walton-on-Thames.
Officers have also daubed SelectaDNA Grease in key areas around the estate to protect metal items such as lead roofing and copper piping. The grease is a forensic substance which instantly transfers onto a thief’s hands and clothing, linking them to the crime scene.
The St John’s estate is a mix of low-rise flats and terraced houses managed by Elmbridge Housing Trust. Metal theft and burglary have been problem crimes on the estate, including incidents where lead has been stolen from the roof of the community centre, copper piping has gone missing from communal areas, and electrical items and power tools have been taken in domestic and shed break-ins.
Elmbridge Neighbourhood Sergeant Charlotte Chambers said: “There have been a number of recent metal thefts in the St John’s area and we have worked with partners to take positive action to resolve the problem.”
She added: “Metal theft stopped overnight when we introduced SelectaDNA Grease to the estate. Burglars were aware we were putting something in place but they didn’t know which parts of the estate we were covering, which has had the effect of putting them off completely.”
Officers are also going door-to-door helping residents to mark their own personal items of value using SelectaDNA property marking kits. The kits mark items with a unique code to deter crime and help identify the rightful owners if the stolen items are later recovered. Residents can use the kits to mark possessions such as TVs, computer equipment, gaming consoles and jewellery.
Deterrent warning stickers supplied with each kit can be placed on the front and back windows of a resident’s home to warn any would-be thieves that their property is marked.
Sergeant Chambers said: “I would urge the public to mark any valuable items to help reduce the chances that they will be stolen in the future. Items marked by the kits will also be much harder for criminals to sell on and if we recover them the unique marking from the kit will enable us to return the stolen item to the owner quickly.”
She concluded: “We will continue to work with partner agencies to tackle the problems and concerns identified to us by the community and do everything possible to prevent crime in the borough.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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