DNA-based technology helps MPS combat crime

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will be using property marking kits as part of a major initiative to reduce crime in targeted London neighbourhoods.

Jan 17, 2013
By Paul Jacques

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will be using property marking kits as part of a major initiative to reduce crime in targeted London neighbourhoods.

Thousands of homes will receive DNA markers where homeowners will be encouraged to mark and register their valuable belongings. In the case of theft, the presence of the unique DNA code in the marker enables police to identify stolen goods and trace them to a specific crime scene.

The MPS will be using DNANet™ property marking kits from Applied DNA Sciences. In the long term, the use of property marking kits has proved to be an effective crime deterrent resulting from enhanced policing and prosecution power. Street and home signage promoting the use of DNAnet markers will offer additional deterrence value.

Chief Inspector Robyn Williams, who is responsible for neighbourhood policing and partnership in Lambeth, said: “The response from Lambeth residents to this burglary crime-prevention and reduction scheme has been extremely positive with an almost 100 per cent take-up rate of addresses visited to date.

“Police in Lambeth will continue to adopt and utilise innovative tactics, including DNANet property marking, that will support us in keeping our residents safe.”

Dr James Hayward, president and CEO of Applied DNA Sciences, said: “We protect approximately 26 per cent of all cash movements across the UK, which has been instrumental in the capture and sentencing of a significant number of criminals. Our DNA is also used across Sweden in jewellery stores and recently to protect copper assets located in energy stations throughout Sweden. We are delighted to be working with the MPS on this excellent crime-reduction initiative to help protect households and communities for people worried about crime in their neighbourhoods.”

Applied DNA Sciences was awarded the Tilley award in December 2011 after its product, SigNature DNA, helped in the resolution of a Blackburn robbery case that resulted in five convictions with a total of 55 years in sentencing.

SigNature DNA marks cash and often the criminals themselves when a cash-carrying strongbox is forced open and the DNA carrier is automatically sprayed.

In a separate case, SigNature DNA helped in the dismantling of a major UK drug ring where 11 cartel members were sentenced to a total of 31 years in prison. Codenamed Operation Betula, the police work culminated in the sentencing of the cartel leader where an important part of the evidence was SigNature DNA.

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