Several West Auckland schools have this week utilised DNA technology to protect school property, including computer equipment, it was revealed yesterday.
A partnership between BNZ, the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Police, Crimestoppers and SelectaDNA is helping reduce burglaries.
The BNZ Safer Schools programme, coupled with other policing activities, has helped contribute to a 38% reduction in school burglaries since 2010 in participating schools, BNZ reported.
All New Zealand schools will receive a BNZ Safer Schools Pack over the next two years. The pack 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.
Owen Loeffellechner, BNZ’s head of enterprise security, 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,” he says.
“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, says, "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," Searle says.
Local schools can head along to BNZ’s Henderson Business Centre on 17 June 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, BNZ says.