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Smart solution may thwart burglars

Source: The Central Leader


Clever technology is being introduced to schools all over Auckland to reduce burglary on school grounds.

Police intelligence analyst Sam Tawhai says one school is burgled every day in the Auckland district.

To combat this police are working with a company called SelectaDNA which provides kits to protect property.

SelectaDNA is an invisible solution which contains uniquely marked microdots.

It can be used on almost anything including laptops and iPads.

The solution is registered to an individual and a stolen item can be identified by its microdots.

SelectaDNA kits were handed out to school representatives last week at a briefing hosted by police.

Auckland east area commander Chief Inspector John Palmer says in the Auckland district in the year to May 31, there were 9049 burglaries.

He says this includes burglaries in houses, businesses and schools.

Of these, 287 or roughly 3 per cent were at schools, Mr Palmer says.

"That's high in my opinion. If you don't think there's a problem, think again."

He says Mt Roskill, Onehunga, Mt Albert and Auckland central stand out as problem areas for school burglaries.

"Many burglaries are occurring when teachers are still at school.

"This is before the classrooms are locked up.

"Most of the time we don't get the gear back.

"If we work together, I would love to reduce crime in schools."

Mr Tawhai says repeat locations account for 36 per cent of all school burglaries.

"One school has been targeted more than 20 times in just the last 12 months."

BNZ security head Owen Loeffellechner says the bank has come on board with the project because it's an important cause.

The bank is buying the kits for schools.

SelectaDNA director David Morrissey says New Zealand is the third country in the world to adopt the system.

"It's a deterrent first and foremost," he says of the microdot solution.

"It's about educating both the criminal and non-criminal community."

Mt Albert Grammar School property manager Frank Koenen was considering the SelectaDNA technology for his school more than a year ago.

"This opportunity came up and it just clicked – I knew I had to be here.

"I will have no problem implementing it."

Mr Koenen lives on site and is often the first person on hand when a burglary does happen.

"I've got a personal interest in crime prevention. I'm sure this will be very effective."

Go to for tips on burglary prevention.

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