Two teenagers who stole a scooter and later failed to stop for Metropolitan Police officers have been arrested after they were found to have traces of DNA tagging spray on them, linking them to the stolen bike and the related offences.
SelectaDNA Tagging Spray is one of the Met’s innovative tactics against moped and scooter-enabled crime. The spray is invisible to the naked eye but when exposed to UV light illuminates and allows officers to identify offenders and seize their bikes.
The same spray technology has led to arrests and convictions following its use by other police forces across the UK including West Midlands Police, Cheshire Constabulary, Surrey Police, Merseyside Police, Greater Manchester Police and Police Scotland.
The Met’s latest incident to involve the spray started on 29th April, when a delivery driver’s locked scooter was stolen while he was making a delivery on Maitland Park Road, Camden. On 1st May, two males were seen by officers riding a stolen scooter at speed on Pond Street, Camden. The scooter failed to stop for officers before riding across Fleet Street junction.
Officers coordinated air support, ground units and dog units to search and contain the suspects. The scooter was then seen to mount the footpath and continue towards Cressy Road, Camden, at which point officers sprayed SelectaDNA tagging spray at the two males and used a tyre deflation device on their vehicle, causing it to come to a stop.
The two males then made off on foot, abandoning the scooter in the road. Suspect A was immediately detained and Suspect B was found half-an-hour later, hiding in a garden shed in Camden.
The 17-year old youths were arrested for aggravated taking and driving away, dangerous driving and driving with no insurance. They were both found to have traces of DNA tagging spray on them, which indisputably linked them to the stolen bike and the related offences. They were further arrested (while in custody) on suspicion of theft of a scooter. Both males remain in custody at a north London police station.
Commander Julian Bennett said: “Police are working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets hostile territory for criminals who steal scooters, mopeds, motorbikes and bicycles and then use them for other offences.
“Our policing activity to tackle scooter-related crime is making a difference as evidenced here, particularly using a range of new technologies including slim-line motorcycles, DNA spray and automatic tyre deflation devices.
“Our message is simple – if you commit a scooter-related crime, you will be found and arrested. We are using every tactic available to us to bring offenders to justice.”
The SelectaDNA Tagging Spray is used to deter and prevent personal attack and criminal behaviour, such as moped and motorcycle enabled crimes. It can be aimed by officers at suspected illegal and anti-social scrambler bikes, as well as at mopeds and motorbikes involved in other crimes such as robberies, assaults and smash and grab raids. The DNA tagging spray marks 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.