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DNA technology protects school property

Media release
5 March 2015

DNA technology is protecting school property in a unique partnership between BNZ, the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Police, Crimestoppers and SelectaDNA.

It’s the second time these partners have come together. The BNZ Safer Schools programme, coupled with other Policing activities, has helped contribute to a 38% reduction in school burglaries since 2010 in those 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. 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.”

Acting Police Assistant Commissioner Bill Searle said that crime prevention was at its most effective when it involved partnerships between communities, local organisations, authorities, and businesses.

“New Zealand Police wants fewer victims. We want to reduce offending and make everyone in our society feel safe, but we can’t do it alone.

“It’s great to see community partners coming together for initiatives like this which really contribute to preventing crime.”

Director of Education for the Waikato region, Paula Rawiri, says this is a really good initiative for schools.

“Schools are safe places and we want them to stay that way. That’s why we support the BNZ Safer Schools programme.”

Visit www.selectadna.co.nz for more information.