Forensic Net is Closing on Street Robbers

Thursday, 19 June, 2008

POLICE in South and Mid Bedfordshire are to use a powerful new tool in the fight against street robberies this summer.

They will have access to portable forensic kits that can be used at the scene of a crime to immediately retain the slightest DNA evidence offenders leave on victims' clothes or skin.

It means offenders who grab a victim's jacket, or search their pockets, risk leaving traceable samples that could lead to police straight to their front doors.

Officers across the county are now using the advanced kits, which Bedfordshire Police began rolling out at the beginning of this year.

DS Jay Bains, who heads the Dunstable-based Robbery Squad, said: "The kits are proving to be highly portable, convenient and quick to use and are another important tool in helping to identify offenders and put them before the courts.

"We will be taking full advantage of them in the Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard and Ampthill policing areas, where we are committed to driving down robberies."

The kits, which can also be used at the scene of other crimes, come as the summer holidays get closer and robberies traditionally increase as young people target other young people for items like mobile phones and personal stereos.

Teenagers can reduce their chances of becoming a victim by keeping valuables out of sight, avoiding remote areas and only carrying as much cash as they need. The chances of a lost or stolen mobile telephone being returned are far increased if owners take time to register them free on the National Phone Register, which can be found at or

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