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Businesses are being urged to deter metal thieves by marking their property, making it unattractive to burglars.

West Midlands Police, together with safe & sound, Dudley’s community safety partnership, is running a campaign advising businesses in the Dudley borough, in particular ones at risk of metal theft, to use a property marking system.

Funded by the partnership, which is made up of public sector and voluntary organisations, police officers recently handed out SelectaDNA property marking kits to 50 local businesses.

Police can use this system to identify the owner of the stolen goods and link criminals to the crimes they commit.

Councillor Gaye Partridge, cabinet member responsible for community safety, said:

“We were one of the first boroughs to use this property marking system and we have employed it widely to reduce residential burglaries – in 2008 our Operation Identity trial saw a 44 per cent reduction in residential offences.

“We are now turning our attention to businesses.  West Midlands Police approached us at safe & sound for funding to support their Operation Cable project to reduce metal theft crime at business locations.  We were delighted to help. Police officers have now given out 50 kits to get the ball rolling and from here we hope that all business owners will consider whether they too could benefit from buying a similar product.”

Acting Inspector Corrina Griffiths of West Midlands Police, said:

“This latest initiative concentrates on vulnerable and repeat theft business locations.  This is to address the blight of metal theft within the borough as well as offering reassurance to business owners.  Feedback from local businesses has been positive and hopefully the new kits will deter thieves and reduce crime.”

Many property marking kits are available.  Details of the SelectaDNA property marking kit, which is used by Dudley safe & sound are available at www.selectadna.co.uk

For more details on Dudley safe & sound, go to www.dudleysafeandsound.org