I’ve looked at a number of DNA mark kits and outlined my findings here. As this is not an advertisement, I have excluded brand names and trademarks.
Prices vary from £10.00 up to around £50.00 and it really is a case of ‘you get what you pay for’.
The DNA mark kit that comes in at £9.99 is a cheap looking felt tip pen, the type you buy for your kids as a throwaway. The real deterrent is the sticker that warns a would-be burglar that property is DNA marked.
The pen has no nib as such; the busy end looks just like the fibre wadding where the felt tip ink would be and carries a clear medium that transfers your DNA to the property to be marked.
The ‘DNA mark’ is invisible. How would the Police find an almost invisible mark? You might ask. The makers suggest; “The client tells the officer to obtain a 10 or 15 X magnifying glass and a strong torch light and shine the light at an angle of 45 degrees where the few microns depth of the mark can be made to show up”.
There are a few serious flaws such as police time and logistics. If police discover a number of DVD players in the home of a known burglar, they will more than likely scan it a black lamp looking for UV property marking but your invisible DNA won’t show. It is likely that you will not see your property returned.
However, there could be a string of happy coincidences such as you telling your local village bobby that you have been burgled and all your property has your DNA on it, he happens to stop someone with property that he remembers belonging to you and using his 10 or 15 X magnifying glass and a strong torch light and shine the light at an angle of 45 degrees, sees your secret mark! The good old fashioned British Bobby at its best. Sadly Dixon of Dock Green has long gone.
There are cost implications in recovering DNA and converting it to evidence, the Forensic Science Laboratory conducts this and the police are faced with the bill (pardon the pun).
They are likely to opt for traditional property recovery techniques such as proving to the burglar that ‘it’s a fair cop’ and asking you to physically identify your property with serial numbers, photograph or even receipts.
The £9.99 kit is available through a network of individuals who have paid £10 for a ‘license’ to sell the DNA mark kits locally. The resellers are not security checked and can buy their business opportunity via internet auction sites and other advertisements. £10 gets them into the security business!
A police recognised product is Smart Water Tracer, designed for the protection of domestic and household possessions as well as commercial assets. The unique forensic fingerprint is practically invisible to the human eye. However it fluoresces under ultraviolet light that police use as standard, and is virtually impossible to completely remove.
The cost is around £45.00 and claims to reduce the risk of burglary by up to 83%. Police support SmartWater as it has enabled them to obtain a 100% conviction rate in court. The kit also includes warning labels to deter thieves and it takes just 20 minutes to mark property in a typical house.
The choices are spending £10 on the unknown or £45 on a commercially recognised property marking kit.
Back to DNA Marking kit. For around £50 there is another DNA Property marking kit, this one boasts he UK Secured By Design accreditation, not easy to get and very important. This too comes with warning stickers the unique DNA resides in a pot of special glue to apply to your valuable items of property. Once this glue is applied, removal of the entire DNA marking from an item is almost impossible. It is invisible to the human and can only be located with a UV lamp and remnants of the DNA will easily remain in crevices and uneven surfaces.
The added benefit is that the DNA code along with the customers details are held on a secure LPCB (The Loss Prevention Certification Board ) approved database and allows recovered property to be traced back to the owner after analysis. Forensic testing will pick up even a tiny molecule of glue and can be used to determine whom the item really belongs.
There is a DNA Print kit that retails around £40 with a patented and technically advanced UV product that is saturated with selected sequences of DNA strands embedded in the security ink. By simply placing your thumbprint on the objects that you wish to protect and/or writing your personal code or number on them using the DNA UV Security Writing Pen, you will have peace of mind knowing that if items are ever lost or stolen, and subsequently recovered, they can be scanned by the DNA UV Detector to illuminate your invisible marks and prove ownership.
This DNA print kit has more items than the others mentioned, the kit includes…
DNA UV Security Ink Pad to DNA mark hundreds of objects with your personal thumbprint, DNA UV Security Writing Pen this is designed to invisibly write your personal information that can identify you as the owner, DNA UV Detector with Pen to Illuminate invisible marks. Inventory Ledger to record the location and type of invisible marks placed on your property. And Tamper-Proof Tags to alert the police that recovered items are tagged with DNA UV security markings.
DNA was used to protect all licensed merchandise for 2000 Summer Olympics in Sidney, Australia, the work of famous artists such as Joe Barbara (The Flintstone’s) and Thomas Kincaid and the property of a major film studio. It was also used to protect items from athletes like Mohammad Ali, and Mark McGuire’s famous 70th home run ball.
Now you can take advantage of this cutting edge technology to protect your property with indisputable identification.