Nelson homes offered “DNA traps” to catch burglars

PC Dave Richardson and PCSO Andy Whyatt with a Selecta DNA kit ahead of the scheme being introduced into the the Southfield area of Nelson.
PC Dave Richardson and PCSO Andy Whyatt with a Selecta DNA kit ahead of the scheme being introduced into the the Southfield area of Nelson.

A CRIME prevention scheme, which involves setting DNA traps to catch burglars, is being offered to over 600 residents in Nelson.

Neighbourhood police officers will be offering Selecta DNA property marking to people living in the Southfield area of the town.

It is being introduced due to the large number of rented properties in the area and the proposal has been met positively by landlords.

Southfield is a hotspot for metal thefts and police say that there is a correlation between thefts and a high turnover of tenants.

However, the technology is not just available for metal thefts as the transferable DNA, which cannot be washed away, comes in the form of grease with its own unique code and can be put on to all valuables.

The grease transfers to the skin, clothes, hair and shoes of an offender forensically linking them to the scene of a crime and the secure property marking system also allows police to identify stolen property and return it to its rightful owner.

Police in Pendle have been studying a similar scheme in West Yorkshire which has seen a dramatic decrease in crime.

If successful in Southfield, other areas of the borough have already been earmarked including Colne on buildings other than dwellings in an effort to reduce lead thefts.

Insp. Phil Davies, from Pendle police, said: “Marking properties should act as a great deterrent to would be burglars whilst ensuring that if a crime is committed we have a much better chance of catching the offender and returning the property to its owner.

“There will be a number of signs on display in the area informing anyone entering Southfield about the scheme. Each property will have its own permanent signs on windows and vulnerable items warning thieves off.

“This is just one measure aimed at protecting residents from thieves. We will continue to do all we can to deter and identify offenders and I urge anyone who sees anything suspicious to contact the police.”