RESIDENTS in Surrey are being encouraged to help police ‘Beat the Burglar’ through the use of SelectaDNA forensic marking products as part of a new campaign involving a series of crime prevention roadshows.
The campaign aims to give crime reduction advice to members of the public and businesses and target offenders to deter them from committing offences.
Surrey Police has teamed up with Selectamark, the company that produces SelectaDNA, to offer residents discount vouchers on marking kits and will be taking part in a number of roadshows across the county.
In addition, Crime Reduction Advisors will also be touring Surrey’s streets in a Vauxhall Corsa, sponsored by Selectamark, which has been transformed with the campaign’s logo emblazoned on the doors and bonnet to give out handy tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
SelectaDNA is a clear liquid that can be easily applied to household items of value such as laptops, flatscreen TVs and jewellery. Each bottle contains a unique DNA code which is registered on a secure database that can be accessed by police. The DNA code links back to the registered property and conclusively proves ownership.
Once applied, the forensic marking is almost impossible to remove and is virtually invisible to the naked eye, but can be viewed under UV light. It can help link criminals to crime scenes, improve the likelihood of convictions and increase the chance of stolen goods being returned to their rightful owner as well as being an excellent deterrent.
Each home property marking kit contains high-visibility warning labels and window stickers to advise that property at the address has been security-marked. This acts as a proven deterrent to would-be offenders and police forces throughout the UK have seen significant reductions in burglary rates when SelectaDNA forensic marking has been used in ‘hotspot’ areas.
Temporary Detective Superintendent Ian Chandler of Surrey Police said: "Burglary is often an opportunist crime which causes misery for those who fall victim to it and Surrey Police is committed to finding ways to tackle it. This campaign is a warning to burglars that we will use all methods at our disposal to track them down and they may already be ‘marked’.”
He continued: “Forensic marking’s main strength is its deterrent value. The fear factor comes into play as burglars are aware that forensic property marking is helping police to convict criminals. It has been proven that they are staying away from homes and belongings which are forensically protected.
"Marking your property is easy to do, doesn’t damage your belongings and can prove beyond doubt that an item is yours.”
Businesses can also benefit from UV forensic marking products through the use of SelectaDNA’s intruder spray system, which can be installed in premises such as offices, warehouses and retail outlets.
Should a burglar break into a property, the spray system is triggered and releases an invisible spray, which under UV light will immediately become visible. It stays on clothes and skin for months, it can’t be washed off and it can link a criminal to the scene of a burglary.
Surrey Police has permanent UV lights fitted at its four custody suites in Woking, Staines, Guildford and Reigate under which all suspects who come into custody are routinely screened to show if they have been contaminated with any forensic dye.
As part of the campaign Surrey Police will be direct-mailing some residents and warning would-be offenders in Surrey with a series of billboards and posters at various points across the county.
Detective Superintendent Chandler concluded: "This campaign aims to raise awareness and remind the public of the steps they can take to avoid becoming a burglary victim while warning criminals we will continue to target them.
"Our message to burglars is keep looking over your shoulders as it may only be a matter of time before we catch up with you."
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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