Burglars are being warned that Surrey Police is homing in on them as the force distributes thousands of forensic marking kits for householders to use in a bid to stop crime.
More than 2,500 households in burglary hotspots across Caterham, Englefield Green, Sunbury, Stoneleigh and Woking have been given forensic marking kits under Operation Shepherd.
The SelectaDNA packs consist of a bottle of clear liquid which carries its very own unique forensic code which is only visible under ultraviolet light.
The DNA liquid is being delivered to communities by police who are offering crime prevention advice alongside instruction on how to mark belongings most likely to be snatched in a domestic break-in such as laptops, tablets, phones and jewellery.
Any goods that are marked with the liquid can easily be traced and returned to their owners when they are recovered by police. Officers have already claimed that the scheme has been able to successfully reduce the incidence of burglaries in areas where forensic marking has been used as a deterrent.
Surrey Police's Chief Superintendent Jerry Westerman explained: “We have clear evidence that the use of these types of marking kits has successfully cut the number of burglars trying their luck with domestic burglaries. In fact those forces which have trialled these kits have seen a dramatic decrease in residential burglary across their patch.
"Surrey Police similarly wants to prevent such crime and my message to would-be thieves is, we’re getting smarter and we’ll be able to trace you by footprints, handprints or whatever else you’ve left your mark on and stop you in your tracks.
“All of our officers are equipped with a UV torch which will enable them to identify stolen goods and trace them back to the owner’s address whilst also assisting them in identifying the offender.”
The scheme is supported locally by signs promoting the use of DNA liquid. Householders are encouraged to display a window sticker which aims to act as a deterrent to opportunist burglars and is an important first line of defence to warn criminals that DNA marking is being used on items of value at the property.
SelectaDNA has been known to reduce burglary by up to 83% - a statistic achieved by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in a local crime hotspot area. GMP said SelectaDNA had not only significantly reduced burglary, but its use helped increase public confidence in local police and brought the community closer together.
Operation Shepherd is set to run for six months, and if successful, Surrey Police could roll out more kits across the county.
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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