Australian police to trial ‘synthetic DNA’ to tackle burglaries

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Melbourne, July 17 (IANS) Australian police will trial “synthetic DNA” in an attempt to track stolen items, it was announced on Monday.

The DNA and ultraviolet torches will be delivered to 1,000 homes in Geelong, west of Melbourne, as part of the six-month trial, reports Xinhua news agency.

Participants in the trial will be urged to apply the liquid DNA, which can only be detected by ultraviolet (UV) lamps, to valuables within their homes.

The synthetic substance has a unique code, meaning police can return stolen items to the owner if the DNA is detected.

It is the first trial of its kind in Australia and comes after a similar programme in Britain reduced residential burglary by 91 per cent.

“I’m quite confident this will be a very, very positive and successful venture,” Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Tess Walsh told the local media on Monday.

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“It’s very, very exciting. We are pretty confident that if we have similar success … we will look at a broader application of this new technology.

“The deterrent factor, I think, is probably the most overwhelming one.”

There were 36,000 residential burglaries in Victoria to the 12 months to March 2017, a figure Victoria Police has committed to reducing by 10 percent in the next four years.

It is the first program championed by Safety Alliance Victoria, a body established to deliver new crime-fighting techniques for the state.

“Everyone does have a role to play in caring for each other in a community,” Walsh said.

“We acknowledge that we need to try different ways to engage with the community.”



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