FORENSIC marking kits have been handed out by Northumbria police as part of a highly successful anti-crime campaign in Northumberland.
Police began Operation Community Pride in the former mining town of Ashington in October 2015. It resulted in an impressive 32 arrests and 21 raids in its first week, mainly for drug-related offences.
The Operation continued with the issue of fines, warning letters and protection notices served for various motoring and environmental offences, as well as police visits to troublesome tenants.
The problem of residential burglary was then addressed with the distribution of SelectaDNA property marking kits to homes considered at risk in the area.
The kits contain SelectaDNA, a forensic marking liquid which incorporates tiny microdots that can be painted onto valuable items of household property - such as laptops, iPads, mobile phones and flatscreen TVs - enabling them to be identified by police if stolen and recovered, then subsequently returned to their rightful owner.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, who helped fund the scheme, said: “These kits can help towards keeping crime down and it’s great to see them being promoted as part of Ashington’s Community Pride campaign.
“I recently visited Ashington to see first-hand how this initiative is being rolled out and it really is a great example of pro-active policing by Northumbria Police.
“These kits aren’t typical DNA kits as we know them - they’re much simpler. They can really help identify personal property if stolen and then later recovered, the mark can be identified and the item returned to you.
“I urge all residents to work with local officers to make your possessions as secure as possible.”
Neighbourhood Inspector, Dave Harris, said: “We believe that this approach to crime prevention is extremely good and will make our area inhospitable to burglars and travelling criminals.
“Our aim is to make it as difficult as possible and pointless for criminals to target houses in Ashington by giving as many households as possible the opportunity to forensically mark their valuable items and render them far too risky for criminals to sell or keep for fear of them being identified as stolen.
“Officers have been out and about in the community putting up warning signs at the entrances to estates and on street’s where they have visited with SelectaDNA to warn any thieves or burglars that the area has been protected.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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