Helping Police Fight Acquisitive Crime

Wednesday, 13 November, 2019

A hi-tech weapon has been developed in the fight against lawless moped gangs and smash and grab raiders and is one of the new, innovative tactics helping Police to get to grips with acquisitive crime.

Drive-by thefts carried out by moped-riding attackers on stolen mopeds and scooters has increased in recent years. The attacks have been a scourge of cities like London and Edinburgh, but the Police may finally have found the answer to the problem.

By arming officers with synthetic SelectaDNA spray that tags offenders with a unique forensic ID code, it gives them a valuable weapon that can help track down suspects and link them directly to a crime scene.

Police figures have shown it has reduced moped-related crimes by 53% in London and 60% in Edinburgh, and it also appears to be acting as an effective deterrent. 
James Brown, Managing Director of Selectamark Security Systems, which produces the SelectaDNA range of technology, said: “It makes criminals really assess the risk they’re willing to take and what lengths they will go to in order to ensure they aren't traceable. DNA solutions provide a link back to a location or a crime – and that’s a criminal’s worst nightmare.”

The formula uses synthetically-manufactured DNA particles to create a unique identifier that can be carried in substances such as sprays, adhesives, gels or liquids and applied to items like IT equipment, machinery, vehicles and tools. It can also be used to protect items like antiques and jewellery.

However, it’s not just in London and Edinburgh where the Tagging Spray has been a success. Police in the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Merseyside, Cheshire and Surrey are among the many other forces now on board with this highly effective method to identify a DNA-tagged suspect.

To tackle residential burglary, Police are sticking to the tried and tested method of DNA Property Marking to reduce and deter theft. With an estimated 6.8 million incidents of crime against households in the last year, SelectaDNA Property Marking kits (supported by CrimeStoppers) contain unique DNA coding with microdot technology that not only reduces burglaries and theft but also enables police to link criminals to crime scenes and secure convictions. The kits can be easily applied to personal possessions including TVs, PCs, smartphones and other expensive goods. 
Used in conjunction with the warning stickers supplied, SelectaDNA is proven to reduce burglaries by up to 83% (achieved by Greater Manchester Police using SelectaDNA in a hotspot burglary area; and by Cheshire Police as part of Operation Shield).

Another product that all Police forces are using to tackle acquisitive crime is BikeRegister, the national cycle database and bike marking & registration scheme operated by Selectamark.

BikeRegister is endorsed by the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London, and the nearly 880,000 bikes on the database can be searched by all UK Police forces. A new Police App allows officers to register bikes quickly and easily to the database and to check stolen bikes on smartphones and tablets whilst on the go.

Registering on BikeRegister means a stolen bike could be reunited with its proper owner if it is recovered. Bikes are marked at the many Police bike marking sessions that take place every month across the UK, with Avon & Somerset Constabulary currently the most prolific users of BikeRegister, marking over 1,000 bikes per month.

James Brown concluded: Crime really does have a big and long-lasting effect on victims, whether it’s a street robbery, residential burglary, or a gang stealing bikes to order. These are all a big deal, so there’s an element of pride in what we’re doing by helping police to drive down these crimes.

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