A ‘DNA spray’ which clings to fleeing moped raiders is being trialled to clampdown on soaring street crime.

The chemical spray can stick to skin and clothes for months – allowing police to arrest ‘moped-enabled’ thieves weeks after a crime.

Each batch of the chemical, which cops spray onto suspects who can’t be chased for safety reasons, has a unique DNA code which can link them to the crime.

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A 'DNA spray' which clings to fleeing moped raiders is being trialled to clampdown on soaring street crime. Pictured are moped thieves spotted in Hackney this month 

A ‘DNA spray’ which clings to fleeing moped raiders is being trialled to clampdown on soaring street crime. Pictured are moped thieves spotted in Hackney this month 

HOW DOES IT WORK? 

The chemical spray can stick to skin and clothes for months – allowing police to arrest ‘moped-enabled’ thieves weeks after a crime.

Each batch of the chemical, which cops spray onto suspects who can’t be chased for safety reasons, has a unique DNA code which can link them to the crime.

The spray shows up under ultraviolet light from special bulbs fitted in police custody suites.

It is completely invisible to the naked eye and can’t be scrubbed off skin or clothing.

It is being used by forces including the Metropolitan Police to clampdown on soaring incidents of crooks using mopeds to carry out crimes including robbery and acid attacks.

A Met spokesperson said: ‘We are currently trialling an identifying liquid that can be seen under UV light and can be sprayed at an offender for identification purposes.’

If police find the SelectaDNA spray on a suspect’s skin or clothes, the unique DNA code can connect them to a crime.

Surrey Police said it is also using the spray in situations when it is too dangerous to pursue a suspect, including when a moped raider is not wearing a helmet.

Inspector Alan Sproston from the Spelthorne Safer Neighbourhood Team said: ‘I hope the actions from the day send a clear message to people using scooters to commit crimes – they will be marked and consequently identified from the DNA UV spray.’

The spray shows up under ultraviolet light from special bulbs fitted in police custody suites.

It is completely invisible to the naked eye and can’t be scrubbed off skin or clothing.

Similar spray is already used across Britain to mark personal possessions, meaning stolen items can be traced back to their owners.

The chemical spray can stick to skin and clothes for months - allowing police to arrest 'moped-enabled' thieves weeks after a crime

The chemical spray can stick to skin and clothes for months - allowing police to arrest 'moped-enabled' thieves weeks after a crime

The chemical spray can stick to skin and clothes for months – allowing police to arrest ‘moped-enabled’ thieves weeks after a crime

But it is thought to be the first time it will be used against criminals caught in the act.

Earlier this month Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said violent gang leaders were recruiting youngsters into an ‘organised criminal network’ of moped crooks.

She said: ‘What we’re seeing in terms of this huge increase in the theft of scooters is the vast majority of them are going on to being used in other crimes.

Each batch of the chemical, which cops spray onto suspects who can't be chased for safety reasons, has a unique DNA code which can link them to the crime

Each batch of the chemical, which cops spray onto suspects who can't be chased for safety reasons, has a unique DNA code which can link them to the crime

Each batch of the chemical, which cops spray onto suspects who can’t be chased for safety reasons, has a unique DNA code which can link them to the crime

The spray shows up under ultraviolet light from special bulbs fitted in police custody suites. It is completely invisible to the naked eye and can't be scrubbed off skin or clothing

The spray shows up under ultraviolet light from special bulbs fitted in police custody suites. It is completely invisible to the naked eye and can't be scrubbed off skin or clothing

The spray shows up under ultraviolet light from special bulbs fitted in police custody suites. It is completely invisible to the naked eye and can’t be scrubbed off skin or clothing

‘Some of these are highly organised, somewhere there is an organised criminal network who are tasking usually younger people both to steal the vehicles and then either the same or other younger people to ride them to carry out robberies.

‘Some of it is a little bit more informal.

‘Some people just see an opportunity on the web about ‘this is how you do it’, sadly or this is a great way to make money quickly, so it’s quite a variety of offenders.’

Figures show more than 5,000 moped-enabled crimes happen in the capital every year.

 



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