Police in Sunderland and South Tyneside are to carry canisters containing an invisible UV spray as part of a crackdown on illegally-ridden off-road bikes and scooter-based crime – and if it proves successful it could end up being rolled out to more forces nationwide.
On-the-beat police are to be equipped with cans of SelectaDNA, a pressurised canister of water-based spray that will mark equipment, clothing or skin with a uniquely-coded but invisible dye that can provide forensic evidence to link individuals or items to a specific crime.
Almost impossible to remove, but detectable with a UV light, it will be used to ‘tag’ offenders at crime scenes such as a moped mugging or an attempted bike theft. The spray can’t be bought by the general public, though SelectDNA can offer kits to tag your own bike and kit.
Northumbrian bike crime has been growing year-on-year. In 2017, 265 bikes were reported stolen from the Northumbria area and while 143 were recovered, just 20 individuals were charged with thefts, proving that a large amount of crimes are perpetrated by a small number of thieves. Because of this, police figure that big reductions are possible by taking just a few out of the game.
Earlier in the year, a spate of sub-125cc thefts prompted cops to urge owners of smaller bikes to lock them up. But local police aren’t just looking at tracking the riders of stolen bikes that are used for crimes, they also want to crack down on anti-social riding. Northumbria police have already started seizing and crushing illegal off-road bikes and scooters, many of which are stolen to order, caught riding in public places.
"This is something that has been successfully used by other forces across the country and will provide our officers with another effective tactic in combating anti-social biking," said Temporary Superintendent, Barrie Joisce.
"It is unacceptable for the anti-social behaviour of a minority to bring misery to a majority. We are confident that this innovative new equipment will lead to more seizures and convictions."
‘Team Green’ Kawasaki ZX-6R leads to drugs bust
When West Midlands officers spotted a potentially stolen Kawasaki ZX-6R with a dubious identity they gave chase. "Funny what you find on routine stops," they said on Twitter. "Officers sighted this motorcycle in Weoley Castle in Birmingham and the rider hurriedly pushed it into a house before trying to escape.
"After a struggle he was arrested. The bike was on false plates, and in his house, well, we found this." Pictured was a cannabis farm that included several hundred plants, with a street value far higher than the Kawasaki’s.
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