ON THE run up to Christmas, residents of an exclusive south London road are aiming to reduce and deter theft in the area by using the latest in DNA marking products to mark their personal property.
As part of a police-backed crime reduction initiative, 400 homes in Eltham’s exclusive North Park area are to receive SelectaDNA marking kits, supplied by security firm Selectamark.
Whilst crime levels in the road are considered by police to be “moderate” at present, it has been known as a hotspot area in the past, when thieves have broken into and stolen valuable items from homes such as jewellery, antiques and laptop computers.
SelectaDNA is a water-based adhesive with a locked in DNA code, in addition to unique microdot and UV marker protection that cannot be replicated or de-coded. The product can easily be applied onto personal items, dries within a minute and is visible using an ultra violet lamp.
Chief Inspector Brian Cherek, responsible for the Safer Neighbourhood Teams, said: “One of the main advantages of using a marking product like SelectaDNA is that it is virtually impossible to remove traces of it and identification can be made from tiny specks the size of a pin head. This makes our job a lot easier. It acts as a deterrent to thieves in the first instance - but if items are stolen, it is much easier for us to catch the perpetrators.”
The North Park initiative, which has just been launched, follows hot on the heels of another police-backed saturation marking campaign using SelectaDNA, which was carried out in the Woolwich Dockyard area. The scheme, which was monitored by police over a six month period, helped reduce crime levels by an impressive 80%.
Sgt Frank O’Brien, from Eltham South’s Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “North Park is considered a target area for thieves wanting valuable items. On dark winter nights, when theft is traditionally on the increase, we want to help residents protect their properties. Our officers are going door-to-door explaining the scheme to residents and offering advice on how best to protect their homes over the festive period.”
Jason Brown, head of business development at Selectamark, said: “Over the years Selectamark has carried out hundreds of police schemes around the UK covering property security. We are very pleased that SelectaDNA is being used to help the police tackle theft in the North Park area of Eltham and we are confident that residents will see a drop in crime as a result.”