Police in mid Devon have encouraged builders and those with tools to get their equipment DNA marked after a spate of thefts.
Officers from Devon and Cornwall Police teamed up with Bradfords Building Supplies in Willand, on May 21st to offer advice and a SelectaDNA marking kit to tackle the problem.
Kris Calderhead, a crime prevention officer with Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “We are offering marking kits explicitly designed for tools, so it’s OK for them to be outside and in the sunlight. They have a unique solution which goes onto each kit and can mark about 50 items. They go together with deterrent signs on the tools and on vans themselves to act as a deterrent and also if the theft does occur then it aids us with recovery and getting that tool back to its rightful owner.
“Mid Devon has been hit quite badly and seems to be a hotspot for it. We’re seeing it increase throughout our policing area which is why we’re running events like this and hopefully in other areas as well.”
Mr Calderhead advised people to park in a well-lit area, make sure locks are of police approved standard and if possible remove tools from vans.
Chris Hayden Branch Manager at Bradfords added: “The police got in touch with me about the increase in power-tool thefts, so we spoke about doing something together and marking up tools which I thought was great as some of our customers have been targeted.
“It was a great idea to do a day of power tool marking and raise awareness of it. We’ve had about three or four customers who have been hit in the Willand and Tiverton area. It’s their livelihoods, they’re all self-employed guys and once they have had their tools taken it prevents them going to work and earning their living.
“It then affects insurance going forward so it can be quite an issue for them.”
Devon and Cornwall Police recently issued a statement warning people of the current threat of theft.
Shirley Craft, Police, Community Messaging Officer, Devon & Cornwall said: “If your business or work requires you to keep tools in your van please consider upping your security especially when leaving the vehicle overnight. While it's not always practical to remove everything out of the van, there are crime prevention options available such as property or DNA marking that can reduce the risk of your kit being stolen or increase the chances of it being recovered if it is. Google 'SelectaDNA' for more details.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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