Berneslai Homes turns to DNA marking for added van security

DNA crime fighting (Demo)

A Barnsley housing provider and its local council have turned to synthetic DNA to protect its vans against break-ins and criminal damage.

More than half of builders in the UK have been the victims of tool theft, according to research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), with vans often targeted by thieves trying to get to the tools they believe are kept inside.

Berneslai Homes has also fallen victim to such crimes and now, working with Barnsley Council, it has turned to Selecta DNA to help protect its vans.

The housing provider has already fitted its vehicles with Thatcham alarm systems, strong boxes, and Telematics systems; DNA marking is intended to offer an extra layer of security.

“Vehicle break ins have a significant impact upon the service we are able to provide our customers,” said Lee Winterbottom, Berneslai’s construction services manager. “A van off the road that has sustained damage impacts upon our ability to carry out the day job – maintaining the homes of our tenants.

“There’s also nothing more frustrating than having to deal with a vehicle that has been extensively damage by thieves – only for them to find it’s empty of tools. The steps we have already put in place have had a huge impact upon the number of incidents, but we felt we could do even more to protect our assets.”

Selecta DNA’s products work by forensically marking assets with synthetic DNA that forms a unique code. This is stored on the company’s database. A code found on an item of property or criminal can then be identified back to a specific owner and location.

It is claimed this technology effectively renders the tool worthless to anyone other than its legitimate owner. The patented, unique forensic marking solution is endorsed by UK Police Forces and proving to be an invaluable weapon in crime prevention.


Main Image: (From left to right) Adam Gill, Construction Services (CS), Berneslai Homes; Jack Barry Regan (South Yorkshire Police); Adrian Hunt, Barnsley Council; Lee Winterbottom and Mick Spencer, both CS


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