EMPTY homes awaiting tenants in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, are being protected from burglary by Selectamark’s permanent marking etching system.
Housing management organisation 2010 Rotherham was keen to introduce new security measures following a spate of thefts from council-owned homes in the area that are in the process of being re-let. The scheme is being funded by the Safer Rotherham Partnership.
Around 1,500 council homes a year become empty in Rotherham as one tenant moves out and another prepares to move in. Before a new tenant takes up residence, 2010 Rotherham send in workmen to repair the property and ensure it meets the Empty Property standard.
During this time the home can become vulnerable to burglary with boilers and copper piping being the main target for thieves.
Chris Gaynor from 2010 Rotherham said: “We have the responsibility of managing, repairing and improving over 21,000 council houses across the borough and aim to create the safest environment possible for our customers.”
He continued: “We want burglars to be aware of the fact that property in our homes is permanently and visibly marked using an indelible compound and therefore it is not worth their while to steal it.
“Not only is marked property immediately less valuable to sell on, but also scrap metal yards won’t touch it if they see a marking on it. It is impossible for a burglar to remove the marking and it will be immediately obvious to a police officer if that has been attempted.”
Selectamark’s forensic marking product SelectaDNA Gel is also being used by 2010 Rotherham to protect copper heating pipes in the empty properties. Rising copper prices and the current recession have contributed to the problem of metal theft.
SelectaDNA Gel is used to uniquely identify criminals tampering with property or illegally gaining access to premises. Once the thief comes into contact with the clear Gel, it transfers onto their hands and clothing. The criminal is then irrefutably linked to the crime scene.
Chris Gaynor said: “The Gel is only visible under UV light, so when police scan criminals in a custody suite they can be sure that if someone has traces of it on them, they had something to do with the crime.”
He added: “By using permanent marking in our empty homes it reinforces to would-be thieves that they are more likely to get caught than get away with our property.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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