Crime-fighting liquid helps in return of stolen goods

A crime-fighting spray that assists with the return of stolen property is being rolled out in Cheshire.

The SelectaDNA forensic coding liquid is sprayed on high-value items such as jewellery, laptops and TVs.

Cheshire Constabulary has invested more than £170,000 into the kits that will be made available to residents and fitted into their homes. 

The kits are intended to act as a deterrent to burglars – due to their invisibility and marking of skin and clothing once the protected item is touched. SelectaDNA property markers contain thousands of microdots which allow police to identify property in a matter of seconds

Should a burglar be caught, special lighting will help ascertain the DNA code which is linked to a particular property, and the offender has been marked by the colourless liquid. Any stolen property can then be returned to their owners. 

Officers from nine of the local policing units will distribute the kits by selecting targeted streets and engaging with residents. Residents provided with a kit will also receive a window sticker displaying their involvement in the scheme.

The rollout of the kits are part of the force’s wider Operation Shield initiative which aims to advise residents on crime prevention and deter offenders from committing burglary. 

Cheshire Constabulary’s Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “We know that burglary is a distressing crime leaving people feeling violated in their own home.

“Therefore we want to do all we can to ensure people feel safe and that offenders are deterred from committing burglary and serious and acquisitive crime in our county.

“This unique tool is one way of doing both. 

“Offenders who set out to commit these crimes will run the risk of being marked with the liquid in any of the homes they choose to target. They won’t know the liquid is on them and they will find it incredibly difficult to remove, which makes it easier for officers to detect them.

“Over the coming weeks this crime-fighting tool and the wider Operation Shield initiative will become more accessible and visible in communities across the county.

“We hope it acts as a deterrent by creating a hostile environment for offenders choosing to commit crime in Cheshire.”

Here are a few tips you can take to keep your home safe:

  • Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you’re only going out for a few minutes
  • double-lock any door
  • make sure that any valuables are out of sight
  • keep handbags away from the letterbox or cat flap and hide all keys including car keys, as a thief could hook keys or valuables through even a small opening
  • in the evening, shut the curtains and leave lights on
  • if you’re out all day, then it’s advisable to use a timer device to automatically turn lights and a radio on at night
  • set your burglar alarm
  • make sure the side gate is locked
  • lock your shed or garage

If a crime is taking place please call 999 or pass any information you may have about a burglary by contacting 101.

Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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