Historic churches in Blackburn, Lancashire, are being protected from metal and stone theft thanks to a new scheme being funded by the local council and police.
Blackburn with Darwen Council together with the East Division Local Neighbourhood Policing Team are using SelectaDNA Trace to protect Holy Trinity church near Blackburn town centre and St Oswald’s in Knuzden.
Currently redundant and undergoing renovation work, Holy Trinity had been continually targeted by thieves over a period of six months with two successful break-ins to steal metal and numerous removals of York stone slabs. Since the introduction of Trace to the 250-year old building in May, there have been no further thefts.
Having heard about the use of Trace at Holy Trinity, a parish member at St Oswald’s contacted the council to request that flagstones in their new memorial garden be sprayed to protect them from theft too.
SelectaDNA Trace is ideal for outdoor metal marking projects. The solution, which comes in an easy-to-use aerosol contains two identifiers: Trace nanoparticles which authenticates the mark as a genuine SelectaDNA product, and metal microdots which identifies who the registered owner is. The code on the metal microdots is linked to a secure database which is accessible to Police at all times via a secure online login.
The main benefit of Trace over standard forensic property marking products is that it allows Police to identify stolen property on the spot, which means they are no longer reliant on lengthy analysis times. This has subsequently led to arrests and convictions, with thieves admitting their crime because the on the spot evidence is so strong.
Michelle Rutherford, Neighbourhood Early Action Co-Ordinator, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said: “SelectaDNA Trace was easy to use and didn't leave visible marks on the items we sprayed. We put up deterrent warning signage on the church premises to warn thieves that DNA marking was in use. We are happy to report we have had no further break-ins or stone go missing since.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
Back to 2015 News Stories