PERSISTENT offenders in Woking have been sent letters from Surrey Police warning them that SelectaDNA is being deployed in the area and that they face arrest if they are caught breaking into local homes and businesses.
The Top 10 convicted burglars who either live or commit crimes in the borough have received warning letters from police who notified them that the force is using SelectaDNA, a unique, new property marking kit.
The letter warns the recipient that it is possible to link offenders with specific crimes when the product has been used to mark valuable possessions which are later recovered by police.
Businesses and properties in the area have been sent the DNA kits as part of a project funded by the Safer Woking Partnership.
Police Sergeant Chris Smith of the Woking neighbourhood support team believes the letters will serve as a note of caution to convicted thieves that their activities are being monitored.
He said: “The letters are being sent to those who are persistent offenders and are another way in which we will target criminals committing burglaries in the borough.
“It tells those on the receiving end that they are now much more likely to be caught with the introduction of the SelectaDNA product and that the Safer Woking Partnership is working together to tackle crime.
“We will not be taking a back seat and are actively looking to bring those offending to justice as a result of this initiative.”
Each household and business which has received the new crime-busting kit has been visited by an officer and instructed on how to use it, as part of Surrey Police’s Operation Habitation burglary crackdown.
Sgt Smith added: “The opportunity to provide SelectaDNA will enable us to analyse the pattern of offending and to use results to target burglars even more specifically.
“General analysis has shown that where this product has been used, burglary has been reduced by up to 85% which is an enormous reassurance to householders.”
Camilla Edmiston, Community Safety Officer at Woking Borough Council and a member of the Safer Woking Partnership, hopes the new technique will help combat the sense of violation experienced by victims of burglary.
She explained: “The roll-out of the marking kits aims to provide further protection and peace of mind for potential victims.
“Acts of burglary steal more than a victim’s possessions; they can rob a person’s feeling of security in their own home, which can lead to other issues such as constant panic fear, panic panic attacks, insomnia and feelings of violation.”
She added: “The Safer Woking Partnership is not only committed to preventing individuals from committing crimes and catching offenders, but also to preventative measures which protect potential victims from the emotional and physical stresses of crime, including burglary.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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