Crime-fighting tool protecting homes from burglaries to be rolled out in Cheshire
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A unique crime-fighting tool that helps protect homes from burglaries is being rolled out in Cheshire.
The SelectaDNA forensic coding solution is placed inside the home on 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 will also act as a deterrent to burglars due to their invisibility when marking skin and clothing once the item is touched.
When the burglar is caught officers will use specialist lighting to identify if the offender has been marked by the colourless liquid.
The liquid comes with a DNA code that can link to a specific crime that has been reported.
The code can also be used to identify where property has been stolen from meaning items can 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 who are provided with a kit will also receive a sticker that can be displayed in their windows.
In the coming weeks street signs informing of the crime fighting tool will be displayed in residential areas across the county.
The rollout of the kits are part of the force’s wider Operation Shield initiative.
The operation aims to inform and educate residents on crime prevention advice and deter offenders from committing burglary or serious and acquisitive crime.
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
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, said: “Protecting Cheshire’s communities from burglaries means having both effective preventative measures and deterrents in place.
“SelectaDNA is one of these methods that we’re sending out the clear message, that this type of behaviour isn’t tolerated here in Cheshire.
“I’m hoping this tool also provides communities with the reassurance they need that Cheshire Constabulary are doing all they can to prevent crimes in their neighbourhoods.”
For information on crime prevention please visit our website.
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.