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Police in Poole are targeting metal thieves by applying DNA marking grease to metal on properties which will then assist in catching and convicting offenders.
The local Community Safety Partnership (CSP) has funded the purchase of the grease, which has been applied to a number of sites across Poole.
The grease contains microdots which bear a unique batch reference number.
When touched, the grease is transferred to skin and clothing, assisting officers in identifying those who have been in contact with marked metal and making it easier to discover and trace back stolen metal.
Safer Neighbourhood Team Sergeant, Andy Jenkins, has overseen the deployment of the grease. He said:
"We have identified a number of properties where we believe this method will either stop the crime occurring or give us a high chance of capturing those foolish enough to continue with these types of theft.
"On some sites, such as Upton House and St Johns Church in Broadstone, there are clear signs indicating the presence of the grease. At other sites the first indication to any thief would be when police officers point it out to them just prior to their arrest.
"The public can assist us in tackling metal theft by remaining vigilant and reporting any suspicious activity that they notice to Dorset Police."
Members of the public can call Dorset Police in confidence on 101, or dial 999 in an emergency when a crime is in progress or life is at risk.
Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.