Banknote Watch Host Educational Seminar To UK-wide Police Forces

Monday, 22 March, 2010

Banknote Watch, in association with West Mercia Police, organised a successful seminar for police forces from the Midlands and surrounding areas to learn about how stolen banknotes can be identified and traced back to a scene of crime.

Fifty representatives from 15 forces attended the Unique Taggants Information seminar, which took place on 18th March at the West Mercia Police Headquarters. Unique taggants, or codes, are used in dyes or smoke which are released if cash is stolen and will spread onto skin and clothing, leaving an information trail for police to trace a stolen note to an incident or place an individual at the scene of a crime.

Arranged by Banknote Watch - a partnership between the manufacturers, installers and users of cash staining systems and the Government and Police that promotes the fact that a stained note is probably a stolen note - the event aimed to inform the police how the unique taggants work, how they are identified back to a crime scene and the cost of such procedures.

Attendees were treated to five excellent presentations from speakers Tony Woodward from Applied DNA Sciences, Andrew Knights from Selectamark Security Systems, Dik Williams from SmartWater, Alan Costain from TraceTag and Sarah Breen, Forensic Screening Officer at the British Transport Police.

Alan Townsend, Chairman of Banknote Watch, comments: "Increasing Police awareness of the taggants is vital because the technology acts as an effective deterrent that directly links a suspect to a crime.

"The event brought the police and taggant suppliers together under one roof to promote the importance of the two working in partnership in order to fight against crime. With a variety of measures that can place a suspect at the scene of a crime, the police should be using taggant suppliers to scientifically analyse the information, which can trace the stained note or item back to a specific crime."

Colin Davies, of the West Midlands Regional Intelligence Unit, adds: "This event was of great value to the Police. The purpose of the unique codes is to prevent criminals profiting from the proceeds of crime and reduce the risk of businesses becoming the victims of commercial robbery. Having these taggants in place has already resulted in a number of convictions across the country and the hope is that the Police will now be more aware of this technology meaning more arrests and convictions will be secured."

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