A HIGH-TECH scheme to boost public confidence in crime prevention has been launched in a Torquay ward, following an impressive 70% reduction in burglary using SelectaDNA in other areas of Torbay.
Cockington, Chelston and Livermead Community Partnership supported by Devon & Cornwall Police are offering local residents the opportunity to protect their personal property using SelectaDNA, a unique DNA-coded product.
Ron Ashcroft, chair of the ward Partnership said: “Although we are fortunate to live in a low crime area, one burglary is still one too many and local residents asked us to look at ways to make people feel safer in their homes.”
As a result, the Partnership is offering SelectaDNA kits to residents of Cockington, Chelston and Livermead at cost price.
“We are keen to keep on top of the situation and ensure our ward remains one of the safest in Torbay,“ said Mr Ashcroft. "The police felt this is the biggest and best deterrent they have," he added.
SelectaDNA is a forensic marking system which enables people to protect their valuables from theft. It can be used to easily mark personal items such as laptops, games consoles, mobile phones, jewellery and electronic equipment. The product dries within one minute and is visible using an ultra-violet light.
Each kit contains a bottle of product and free registration onto a police-approved database. Street signs are also being erected to deter criminals from the area and warn them that all property is DNA marked, registered and traceable.
Commenting on the new scheme, Cockington with Chelston Councillor Gordon Oliver said: “The initiative is an important crime prevention deterrent which we hope will alleviate the disproportionate fear of crime amongst some of our more vulnerable residents. SelectaDNA also undermines the ambitions of thieves in this ward and elsewhere in Torbay.”
SelectaDNA has already been deployed successfully by Devon & Cornwall Police in a residential burglary reduction initiative involving homes in Torquay and Painton. The scheme was launched in December 2008 and was evaluated in December 2009 as having achieved a 70% reduction in crime.
Nicola Dukes, Crime Prevention Officer at Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, said: “If an item marked with SelectaDNA is stolen and then recovered by police, it can be identified and returned to its rightful owner.
“Most significantly though, it also acts as a deterrent to thieves in the first instance – if items are stolen it is much easier for us to catch the thieves as it is virtually impossible to remove trace of it. As marked goods are extremely difficult to sell on and if caught with them the thief is instantly linked to the crime.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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