Bremen coating valuables with synthetic DNA to fight theft

By | February 20, 2009

Bremen coating valuables with synthetic DNA to fight theft

The city-state of Bremen plans to be the first place in Germany to use synthetic DNA on valuables to trace thieves, daily Berliner Morgenpost reported this week. “Valuable objects can be individually marked with the invisible liquid substance and be matched to the owner and returned in the case of theft,” the paper reported on Wednesday.

While authorities won’t claim they are related, Bremen residents have the highest per capita debt and the city tops the country’s statistics for “theft under aggravated circumstances,” which includes robbery, and auto or bicycle theft.

Bremen now hopes to fight crime by emulating the UK and the Netherlands, which already use synthetic DNA to trace things like jewellery, the paper reported. The city-state has chosen at-risk neighbourhoods for a pilot project that includes attaching signs to windows that read, “Beware: DNA protection. Thieves will be convicted in no time.”The ihe invisible substance can be uniquely coded and remains attached to objects permanently. If someone touches it, traces remain on their skin for some six weeks and can be detected using UV light. “Break-ins have gone down to almost zero in a similar London project,” the paper reported.

In a survey of 101 UK inmates, 91 percent said they knew of the synthetic DNA, and 74 percent said it would deter them from committing a theft, Berliner Morgenpost said. …

via Bremen coating valuables with synthetic DNA to fight theft – The Local.

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