RACV is helping to pioneer the use of ‘synthetic DNA’ to track stolen goods in a six-month trial to see whether the technology can reduce home burglaries.
Police and Neighbourhood Watch volunteers will deliver traceable synthetic DNA and ultraviolet torches to about 1000 homes in Whittlesea and Geelong from August.
The synthetic DNA liquid is applied to valuables and is registered to those in the home. Once found on stolen goods, a unique code can be revealed with UV lamps and the registered owner found.
An Australian first
The Australian-first program uses technology similar to that used in trials in the UK that achieved a 91 per cent reduction in burglaries. A New Zealand trial resulted in a 61 per cent decrease.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Assistant Commissioner Tess Walsh said: “I’m quite confident this will be a very, very positive and successful venture.
“It’s very, very exciting,” she said. “We are pretty confident that if we have similar success … we will look at a broader application of this new technology.
“The deterrent factor, I think, is probably the most overwhelming one.’’
The project is the first from Safety Alliance Victoria, set up to deliver technological crime-fighting ideas. RACV is a founding Alliance partner, along with Victoria Police, Neighbourhood Watch, Crime Stoppers Victoria and Federation University.
Safety Alliance Victoria will support campaigns outlined in the Victoria Police Burglary Reduction Strategy, which aims to cut residential burglaries by 10 per cent over four years.
A safer Victoria
RACV chief executive Neil Taylor said the new Safety Alliance would help create a safer Victoria.
“RACV knows that the Victorian community wants to see tangible, innovative solutions to tackle crime in our state,” Mr Taylor said.