AN EXOTIC pet store is the first business in Chester to be fitted with a DNA intruder spray as part of Cheshire Constabulary’s successful Operation Shield campaign.
Operation Shield is a major anti-burglary operation protecting thousands of properties and businesses across the county with SelectaDNA forensic marking.
Since the campaign launched in March 2015, domestic burglaries have fallen by 41% in the space of just seven weeks (compared to 2010-2014 figures), representing the lowest figures for domestic burglary in Cheshire in 25 years.
Following this encouraging reduction in domestic crime, SelectaDNA is now being deployed in spray form to protect vulnerable businesses in Cheshire, with the first beneficiary being Contact Pets in Blacon, which specialises in exotic animals including lizards, snakes, frogs, tortoises and spiders.
The shop also sells aquatic products and fishing equipment and was recently targeted by robbers who got away with more than £15,000 worth of fishing tackle.
The SelectaDNA Spray is activated when an intruder breaks into premises and the system emits a clear DNA-coded mist which cannot be rubbed off and sits on skin and clothing for weeks.
Every suspect arrested in Cheshire is being screened by police under a special ultra violet light in custody. If they have committed a crime in an Operation Shield area, they will be marked, and the unique DNA marking will link them directly to the individual crime scene.
Deterrent warning signs have been erected on the pet shop premises to let criminals know that the business is now protected.
Chester North Community Sergeant Ian Wilson said: “The pet shop was considered a vulnerable business as it is in a parade of shops currently undergoing refurbishment and had already been successfully targeted by burglars.
“Thankfully, none of the animals were stolen on this occasion, but such a crime could pose a genuine threat to the local community due to the exotic nature of some of the pets.”
PS Wilson added: “Using the spray system adds an extra strand of protection to Operation Shield and means that criminals will now get caught if they break into local businesses to steal - as not only will the goods be marked, but the criminals themselves will be indelibly marked and easily identifiable by police.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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