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Burglars risk getting 'shopped' in new retail scheme

Published: Monday, 16th May 2016

Independent Nelson retailers are being given the opportunity to use forensic property marking kits to protect themselves against burglary.

The new crime reduction initiative is being launched later this month by Pendle Community Safety Partnership.

The Partnership, in conjunction with Pendle Council and Lancashire Constabulary, are visiting retailers in Nelson town centre including cafes, newsagents, and off licences to offer them free SelectaDNA property marking kits.

Some of the town’s retailers have already been targeted by thieves who have broken in at the rear of the premises to steal valuable stock and metal items.

SelectaDNA can link criminals to burglaries and break-ins. The product consists of an adhesive solution containing a unique DNA code, a UV tracer and a series of microdots which can be easily applied to electronic goods, jewellery and other valuable items of stock.

SelectaDNA products can also emit a fine spray which is impossible to detect or remove and is instantly detected by investigating police officers.

If any marked items are stolen from shops in Nelson town centre and recovered by police they can be traced back to the individual retailer via the DNA code.

The DNA marking has the added benefit of placing the burglar at the crime scene, which can lead to arrest and conviction.

Apart from offering the SelectaDNA kits, Pendle Council will also be putting up signs on the streets to warn potential criminals of the new scheme. And window stickers will be displayed in participating shops.

Geoff Whitehead, Community Protection lead for Pendle Council, said: “We want local residents to have a pleasant shopping experience when they visit Nelson town centre. 

“We’re confident this new scheme will help protect local businesses.

“The DNA marking will deter crime in the first instance, help police catch the criminals and means stolen property can be traced back to the owner.”

Inspector Paul Goodall from Lancashire Constabulary, added: “The use of forensic marking to protect stock and identify where it’s stolen from would be helpful to all retailers.

“It should help make Nelson a safer place for both shop owners and their customers.”