THE latest in DNA spray technology is to be used to protect all branches of the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) from robbery.
Entry points at each bank are being fitted with spray jets containing SelectaDNA Intruder Spray, which will coat fleeing criminals with a DNA-coded spray as they leave the scene of the crime.
SelectaDNA Intruder Spray was developed in the UK by Selectamark. The spray is invisible unless an ultraviolet torch is shone on the suspect and its distinctive bright blue colour would be enough for police to confirm they were involved in the crime.
Already in use in retail outlets in Europe, the new spray system is proving to be one of the most effective ways to deter commercial burglaries and smash-and-grab raids. It can be fitted at multiple entry points of premises such as banks, corner shops, supermarket chains, jewellers, warehouses and petrol stations, immediately target hardening any building.
Once activated, the DNA spray emits a burst of hi-tech forensic solution onto the offenders. The solution contains a UV tracer and a unique DNA code. Traces of the DNA solution can be taken from the skin, hair and clothing of offenders, and sent away for forensic analysis to prove that they have broken into a particular premises.
Police routinely scan for traces of SelectaDNA in custody suites, and if they find it, it could help them obtain a conviction. Police often know who the thieves are, but don’t have evidence to convict them or link them to the crime. DNA is the link.
BNZ spokeswoman Dee Crooks said: “Robberies are traumatic for staff and customers caught up in them, and the bank wanted to take every possible measure to prevent them. We want people in the criminal fraternity to know that if they try to rob our banks they will be sprayed and they will be caught."
Each bank branch will have its own unique DNA strand embedded in its spray system, and the liquid will remain visible on skin for one to two weeks, and up to six months on clothing.
BNZ branches in Counties-Manukau and Quay Park in central Auckland already have the system in place, and there are plans to introduce it to all branches nationwide in the near future.
The SelectaDNA Intruder Spray system has been used successfully in the Netherlands, where it has been involved in police initiatives to reduce retail crime in Rotterdam.
Simon Nab, project manager for SelectaDNA in Holland, said: “The DNA Spray system has been fitted to a group of small retail premises and petrol stations in Rotterdam to combat the increasing number of daytime robberies there. Since the launch of the scheme, there have been no robberies reported from these outlets so far, which is impressive as they are located in one of the top three crime 'hotspots' in Rotterdam, and are considered at high risk for robbery.”
Mr Nab concluded: “Not only have the retail outlets not been targeted, but the other businesses in the street have also been left alone. As a result of the success of that project, another scheme involving more retail premises in Rotterdam has been launched.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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