Police, Safe in the South join forces

Southland Police are using their “Select a DNA” project in working with Safe in the South to combat theft.

The Select a DNA kits are distributed to people who wish to deter theft and contain warning signage and pens or serum which can be used to mark property as (the ink is revealed by ultraviolet light).

burglary victim Dec 2016
Constable Dave McLardy with burglary victim Matthew Schultz

The Council’s Community Development Co-ordinator, Saniya Thompson, said Safe in the South’s key stakeholders worked collaboratively on all aspects of community safety. The stakeholders include: Southland Police, Fire Service, Invercargill City Council, Southland District Council, Southern District Health Board, local iwi, Child Youth and Family, Chamber of Commerce and Emergency Management Southland.

Police Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley said kits had been supplied to many people and schools across Southland, including burglary victim Matthew Schultz, who in August came home to find a burglar still in his garage.

“Matthew, who normally leaves his house secure, was understandably upset and angry by the invasion of his property,” she said. “This was an opportunity for the thief to wander in and search the whole house and enter all the bedrooms in broad daylight. Although in this case Matthew got all his property back, the thief had caused grief and lasting emotional effects.

“Matthew also checked with his neighbours on the day of the burglary and then with elderly neighbours who had often left garage doors open during the day.  These criminals take advantage of people thinking they don’t have to lock stuff away even during the day,” she said.

The Select a DNA kit was greatly appreciated and was applied to Matthew’s electronic items by Constable Dave McLardy.”