A POLICE initiative which involves setting DNA traps to catch burglars targeting empty premises is to be extended across the Rossendale Valley.
Funded by the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC), officers have already coated some property and buildings in the area with SelectaDNA Grease which, if touched, transfers onto the skin, clothes or shoes of an offender immediately linking them to the crime scene. It does not wash off and offenders won’t even realise they have been tagged with it.
Now, entire estates are to be marked with SelectaDNA, starting with the Woodland Grange estate, which is situated in the Irwell Ward of Bacup, Rossendale. It is also being used at a number of locations including Alma Street Chapel, in Bacup, and Ashley Court, in Whitworth.
Alma Street Chapel has caused many problems for local residents as youths have ripped off boards and entered the site to smoke and drink. Ashley Court is a recently vacated sheltered housing site that has already been the subject of a burglary.
SelectaDNA is being placed around the sites, on pipe work, door frames, window ledges and lead roofing.
Crime prevention officer Phil Buck said: “The use of DNA marking and transferrable DNA is being increased across the Pennine police division.
“It’s already been used to great effect on vacated buildings and those subject to entry by youths causing anti- social behaviour and now we are looking at new uses.
“Those new uses include residential households, starting with homes on the Woodland Grange Estate in Rossendale.
“Marking the properties there will help to deter criminal activity and ensure that if a crime is committed we have a much better chance of catching the offender.
“Our message is clear: Commit crime in Rossendale and we’ll catch you!”
The work is being carried out by local Neighbourhood Watch Groups, Neighbourhood Policing Officers and volunteers.
Police are also distributing SelectaDNA property marking kits to 160 homes in the Fieldfare estate area of Rossendale, again funded by LANPAC. This will enable residents to protect household items from theft such as TVs, laptops, iPods, and jewellery.
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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