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New tactics including the use of a DNA spray


New tactics including the use of a DNA spray to tag offenders have played a major role in the significant reductions in moped-enabled crime in London in the last six months.

Metropolitan Police figures show that from February to May 2018 there was a 38.5% reduction in the number of times scooters were used to commit crime compared with October 2017 to January 2018. (Scooter-enabled crime reduction graph supplied by Met Police).

The introduction of the new SelectaDNA Tagging Spray tactic appears to have been a major factor in this decline, with offenders now realising that the police finally have a method of proving without doubt they were at the scene of the crimes they commit.

The spray can be aimed by officers at moped offenders, marking the bikes, clothing and skin of any riders and passengers with a uniquely-coded but invisible DNA that will provide forensic evidence to link them to a specific crime.

Last month alone (May 2018), the spray helped to identify and convict two moped offenders (Spencer Duarte and Abderrahman Hassan) in separate incidents in London. Both offenders were given jail sentences for their crimes.

The same DNA spray technology is also being used successfully by other police forces across the UK to tackle the problem including West Midlands Police, Cheshire Constabulary, Merseyside Police, Surrey Police, West Yorkshire Police and Police Scotland.

Following West Yorkshire Police’s first use of the high tech ‘tagging’ spray, teenager Connor Walker was convicted. Merseyside Police have previously secured two convictions using the spray.

At a meeting on 7th June, the Metropolitan Police provided an update to Home Office ministers, the Motorcycle Industry Association and the London Mayor’s Office on what more can be done to prevent moped attacks.

Policing Minister Nick Hurd said: “The Metropolitan Police is working hard to tackle moped crime, which has been falling virtually month-on-month in the capital since its peak in July last year.”

The Met's Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt has also said: “We are prioritising our resources where there is the greatest risk, harm and threat to communities. Moped-enabled crime is a huge priority and we’ve seen significant reductions."