DOMESTIC burglary and theft dropped by 70% and all crime by 21% during a trial of the SelectaDNA forensic property marking system in Knoxville, United States.
The test was the first time that SelectaDNA had been used in the US and more than 80 kits were distributed to residents of the Old North Knoxville community, along with deterrent warning signs.
The product is a forensic marking liquid with a unique code that can be applied to property. Each kit is registered through a secure database, so if a marked item is stolen, officers can trace it back to the owner using a microscope to read the code.
Police believe the drop in property crimes, including home and car burglaries — from 10 incidents to three — can be credited largely to the warning signs placed throughout the community, said Johan Larsen, senior vice president of CSI Protect, distributors of SelectaDNA in the US. A 21% in all crime was also recorded in the area, police said.
"The product has a synthetic DNA code, and these three letters scare criminals," Larsen said. "DNA is a scary word, so the DNA fear is what detours the criminal."
Larsen said he was "not surprised at all" by the drop, as Knoxville's results reflect results in other countries, with an 83% reduction in domestic burglary achieved in a similar police scheme in a crime hotspot area in Manchester in the UK.
Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said the product "clearly" affected crime rates in the test area. He added: "I think SelectaDNA will be a great tool that can be used by all members of the community."
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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