DNA technology protects school property

SND16-wk3-DNA TechnologyWest Auckland schools are being given the benefit of DNA technology to protect property in a unique partnership between BNZ, the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Police, Crimestoppers and SelectaDNA.

The BNZ Safer Schools programme, coupled with other policing activities, has helped contribute to a 38 per cent reduction in school burglaries since 2010 in participating schools.

Over the next two years, all New Zealand schools will receive a BNZ Safer Schools Pack that includes a forensic property- marking product called SelectaDNA.

SelectaDNA is a theft deterrent system proven to help reduce burglaries. It is a non-toxic, water-based solution product that can be applied to items like laptops, tablets and sporting equipment, as a property marker.

Objects marked with SelectaDNA glow bright blue when placed under UV light, making it easier to identify and link a stolen item to where it was taken from, and in some cases, return the items.

BNZ’s head of enterprise security Owen Loeffellechner says the key to the programme is deterrence. It’s a lot more effective to discourage burglary from happening at all, he says. Replacing items costs time, effort and money – all of which could be better spent elsewhere.

“When items like laptops and tablets are taken from schools, it can have a pretty big impact. It’s not just the financial cost, but also the loss of material that reflects a significant work investment by students and teachers.”

Superintendent Bill Searle, District Commander, Waitemata Police said: “Safer communities together is about everyone working together to prevent crime from occurring in the first place.

“This initiative encompasses that and contributes to preventing crime. For us that also means less victims and that can only be a good thing.”

Local schools will head along to BNZ’s Henderson Business Centre today to view the Safer Schools programme showcase, and collect their introductory SelectaDNA kit.

Property marking kits will be distributed to schools unable to attend the event in the weeks following.

Rosie Clarke

Rosie is the managing editor here at Multimedia Pty Ltd, working across School News New Zealand and School News Australia. She has spent 10+ years in B2B journalism, and has spent some time over the last couple of years teaching as a sessional academic. Feel free to contact her at any time with editorial or magazine content enquiries.
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