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Police in Cambridge among first to deploy new DNA spray to tackle theft and anti-social  driving

‘The integration of SelectaDNA represents a significant stride in our tireless pursuit to prevent vehicle thefts in Cambridge’

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Police used a SelectaDNA spray to arrest a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and the attempted theft of a motor vehicle. The boy, from Peterborough, was arrested in Chesterton, Cambridge, on Friday.

A scan of his clothing revealed he had been sprayed earlier in the day. He has since been bailed with conditions not to enter Cambridge.

The cutting-edge tool deployed by police helps identify individuals and vehicles involved in theft and anti-social driving is being piloted in Cambridge city.

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SelectaDNA kits are being used by the Cambridge neighbourhood team as part of a crackdown on nuisance moped riders in the city, as well as other acquisitive crimes.

Officers will be able to spray riders who ride dangerously along pavements and footpaths, or individuals suspected to be involved with thefts, as well as the bikes or mopeds they are on.

 Police demonstrating use of SelectaDNA spray in Cambridge

Police demonstrating use of SelectaDNA spray in Cambridge

The invisible DNA spray (which is non-toxic and environmentally safe) will provide officers with evidence to link individuals and vehicles back to a specific incident if the bike and its rider are not able to be stopped at that specific time.

If the bike is later stopped and seized, police are then able to scan it, pinpoint where it was sprayed and identify those who are causing disruption.

The equipment was first used successfully on Friday in response to calls reporting attempted thefts of mopeds.

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Officers deployed the SelectaDNA spray and later arrested a 16-year-old boy, from Peterborough, in Chesterton on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and attempted theft of a motor vehicle.

A scan of his clothing revealed he had been sprayed earlier in the day. He has since been bailed with conditions not to enter Cambridge.

Sergeant Neil Campbell, from the City East Neighbourhood Team, said: “We understand the considerable disruption that a handful of individuals are causing to the daily lives of residents.

“The integration of SelectaDNA represents a significant stride in our tireless pursuit to prevent vehicle thefts in Cambridge city. The roll out of these kits signifies a progressive approach in convicting offenders and deterring others from offending.”

Residents are urged to report any relevant information to the police by calling 101 or reporting it online via this link: https://bit.ly/3J4qHQj.

SelectaDNA say on their website that “we carry out regular complimentary training sessions with UK Police Forces in order to ensure they know how to find traces of SelectaDNA, and how to take samples to be analysed.

“We also provide training for officers who are responsible for the distribution of SelectaDNA kits to members of the public during burglary reductions campaigns, so they can explain how the product works and how to use it”.

 

The company says it also regularly train crime reduction officers at the College of Policing http://www.college.police.uk/

 

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