In a dramatic first for UK police, two men have been arrested in Merseyside as a direct result of using SelectaDNA Defence Spray to identify offenders on scrambler bikes as part of Operation Brookdale.
A Merseyside Police Officer deployed the Defence Spray to mark the two men after they were spotted riding a scrambler bike dangerously around the Croxteth Park area in Liverpool.
Criminal use of scrambler bikes has been a major problem blighting Merseyside for the past few years with gangs of riders driving dangerously on the streets and riding off-road illegally. Members of the public have felt threatened by the gangs, describing them as ‘menacing’, ‘intimidating’ and ‘reminiscent of Mad Max’. The issue is not just isolated to Merseyside, with other major cities such as Manchester and Belfast also experiencing problems.
However, Merseyside Police is the first force to deploy the handheld spray devices as an innovative new feature of their annual Operation Brookdale, which targets nuisance and criminal use of scrambler bikes. The Operation has resulted in a record 200+ scrambler bike seizures this year and 150 arrests.
The compact Defence Spray can be aimed by officers at suspected illegal and anti-social scrambler bikes, as well as at mopeds and motorbikes involved in other crimes such as robberies and smash and grabs. It marks the bikes, clothing and skin of any riders and passengers with a uniquely-coded but invisible dye. If suspects are arrested or bikes recovered, the DNA code will link offenders to bikes and any associated criminal offences.
With the assistance of the National Police Air Service, a search of the local area led to the arrest of the two men in Prescot and the discovery of two more scrambler bikes nearby. They were then taken into police custody where they were positively identified thanks to the SelectaDNA liquid traces found on their skin and clothing. Both men have since been charged.
• Connor Gibney, 18, of Crawford Close, West Derby, was charged with dangerous driving and having no licence or insurance.
• Isaac Senior, 18, of Deysbrook Lane, West Derby, was charged with aiding and abetting dangerous driving.
The two men had incriminating DNA Defence Spray on their faces, hair, hands and clothing. They have been released on bail to appear before Liverpool and Knowsley Magistrates Court on January 10 2017.
Inspector Tony Byrne of the Dogs and Mounted section of the Merseyside Police said: "The spray means that if you attempt to drive dangerously near to our officers, you are not untouchable. Even a drop of DNA spray will mark riders and their bikes for a long time, and this tactic will undoubtedly lead to more seizures and prosecutions. One spray will put you away!"
Photo Source: SelectaDNA Image Library