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Malpas launch for police operation to tackle burglars using DNA technology

Operation Shield will be rolled out to more than 5,000 properties in the rural area over the next year

PC Gerard Gigg is leading the roll-out of Operation Shield in south rural Cheshire

A special police operation aiming to protect thousands of residents and businesses in rural Cheshire by using innovative marking techniques to link criminals to their crime scenes will launch this month.

Cheshire Constabulary’s Operation Shield will be rolled out to more than 5,000 properties in communities such as Malpas, Tattenhall, Beeston, Huntington and Tiverton over a 12-month period when it gets underway in Malpas on Monday (October 10).

The operation will use a state-of-the-art forensic liquid containing DNA unique to each property and can be used to mark belongings, so it can be returned to the owner regardless of where it is recovered.

Operation Shield uses DNA liquid to link property and offenders to crime scenes(Image: Cheshire police)

The barely visible liquid is hard to see and extremely difficult to remove so if an offender is caught in possession of stolen items, they can be linked directly back to the scene of the crime.

Officers will be going door to door to distribute kits and demonstrate how they work.

PC Gerard Gigg, beat manager for more than 20 parishes across the south rural area of Cheshire, explained that the operation’s ultimate aim is to help people ‘be safe and feel safe’.

“We want to ensure every property – whether residential, farming or other business premises – is support and covered in the same way and Operation Shield allows for an all-encompassing and consistent approach to serving and protecting the rural communities.

“South rural Cheshire is a very low crime area and this operation will help to make villages safer still and reduce the likelihood of crime further, whilst discouraging and preventing criminality.”

PC Gigg added that the force will begin with more than 900 properties in Malpas, before moving on to the almost two dozen parishes that make up the area from Huntington to Agden on the south side of the A41 from Chester, and from Tattenhall through to Tiverton on the A49.

The police hope to partner with parish councils, housing trusts and community safety wardens during the roll-out.

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