More than 50 convenience stores in New Zealand, which police fear could be targeted by armed robbers, are to have DNA Spray installed in them so that offenders can be identified.
The SelectaDNA spray, which contains a unique chemical that links offenders to crime scenes, is among three technologies that police are co-funding as part of a NZD1.8 million police anti-robbery initiative, along with store owners whose shops have been identified as being vulnerable to armed robbery.
There has been a spate of aggravated robberies in convenience stores (known as dairies in New Zealand) and petrol stations in recent months with offenders targeting cigarettes and cash.
The police will pay half of the cost of the DNA Spray and two other security measures - fog cannons and sound barriers - with the shop's owner funding the other half.
The spray is "non-confrontational" - it's activated by the shopkeeper when the offenders are in store.
As the robbers leave they are sprayed with a solution that's virtually invisible to the naked eye, but turns bright blue under UV light.
The solution stays on hair and skin for up to two weeks and on clothing (even that's put through a washing machine) for up to six months.
It also sticks permanently to items - such as a weapon - that may not be cleaned thoroughly.
David Morrissey, SLS Security Group director, which distributes SelectaDNA in New Zealand, said: "We need a size of a pinhead of that solution to irrefutably put the offender at the crime scene. It works as a deterrent factor because there's no question that they were at the crime."
Although the technology is designed to prevent crime, it can and has been used in prosecutions of criminals in the past both in New Zealand and overseas, providing evidence that a person was at the scene of a crime when it occurred.
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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