Press Release – New Zealand Police
Counties Manukau Police, Maori Wardens, Pacific Wardens, the community and victims of crime aim to tackle burglary together and get results.
Today in the Viscount area of Mangere, local Police launched Operation Safe as Houses. The operation involved the distribution of Prevention Kits to around 230 homes. These kits included, SelectaDNA, a unique synthetic DNA marker used to invisibly mark household valuables.
Area Commander, Inspector Jason Hewett says, “All Police Officers believe that it’s the right of every person who lives in, works in or visits New Zealand to be safe and feel safe. If there is one place on earth that people absolutely should feel safe and be safe it’s in their homes. Sadly for the victims of burglary that right is not always a reality.
“The purpose of this operation is to enable the community in Viscount to work together and take ownership of their own safety and their homes. Police want to prevent crime from happening. Every crime prevented frees up Police Officer’s time that can then be used to undertake other preventative activities.
“This is just the beginning and we intend on conducting similar prevention initiatives across Counties Manukau. The response from the public has been overwhelming and this gives me confidence that a collaborative working approach will make a difference. It’s working together that achieves results!”
The launch was held this afternoon at the Manukau Rovers Rugby Club. Community members including Ex All Black Frank Bunce, Local Councillor Alf Fillipaina, members of the Local Community Board, Maori Wardens and Pacific Wardens were all in attendance.
After the launch Police Officers, Maori Wardens and Pacific Wardens delivered Prevention Kits to 230 homes. The residents were shown how to apply SelectaDNA to their valuables, how to place SelectaDNA stickers in appropriate places in and around their homes and their registration details were taken and recorded for the SelectaDNA database.
Residents were also encouraged to record all serial numbers from their property on the SNAP website. The FREE website, www.snap.org.nz is for recording serial numbers in advance. This offers peace of mind if burglary occurs. It can assist the Police and residents contents insurance claims, and also makes it easier to track stolen property.
At the same time Counties Manukau Police conducted a citizen safety perception survey of the residents and invited residents to become members of Neighborhood Support groups.
Counties Manukau Police actively cooperated in a six-month trial of SelectaDNA back in 2009 in the Randwick Park area of Manurewa. The results were outstanding and a number of similar initiatives are rolling out across the country.
SelectaDNA Director David Morrissey said, “We aim to gain similar results to our Randwick Park pilot which saw a reduction in burglary by 61.8 percent in six months.
“This initiative should provide the platform to achieve significant reductions in burglary to that already seen throughout New Zealand using the SelectaDNA strategy.”
As part of this initiative Police will also visit second hand dealers to educate them about the danger of buying stolen goods and to ensure that there are no stolen goods being sold.
“By targeting receivers of stolen property as well as burglars we disrupt the supply and demand of property crime,” explained Inspector Hewett.
Police encourage members of the public with any knowledge of those who are stealing or receiving stolen property to call Counties Manukau Police on 09 261 1300 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
NB: SelectaDNA – How it works
SelectaDNA works by invisibly marking property or commercial premises with a unique synthetic profile. The solution glows bright blue under UV light. It stays on valuables indefinitely.
Every bottle is registered in the SelectaDNA database which will be referred to by police to aid investigations and solve crimes. If an object is marked with SelectaDNA the solution will glow bright blue when placed under UV light.
Police will be equipped with detection lighting kits. Detecting a sample the size of a pinhead is enough to help police place a person at a crime or, in the case of stolen goods, be able to return them to the rightful owner.
Each domestic kit contains a bottle of solution to mark between 50 to 100 items, a UV light and a set of high visibility warning stickers with the message “You Steal, You’re Marked!”, to be placed in windows to let criminals know items in the house or commercial premises are protected by SelectaDNA.