dna spray security system

Two “major” UK supermarkets are testing a forensic system that sprays intruders with a synthetic DNA solution specific to each location.

SelectaDNA Spray, which works with existing alarm systems, sprays a fine mist only visible under ultraviolet (UV) light when a break-in is detected.

The solution contains a UV tracer and a DNA code that links intruders “irrefutably” to the crime scene, the company claims. The spray can stay on the person for weeks or even months and aid conviction by linking an offender to a specific store.

Asda has been using SelectaDNA Spray for more than two years in 24 petrol filling stations. The retailer installed the system after a number of raids by thieves trying to steal tobacco. There have been no attacks on the stores since it was installed. SelectaDNA has also supplied a handful of One Stops and a McColl’s.

Brown refused to name the two retailers involved in the new trials, but said they would involve the main store estate.

He added one of them was testing the system on “a more reactive basis” and did not want to advertise that its stores were protected.

A key aspect of SelectaDNA is its role as a deterrent, and the company supplies its customers with warning signs and window stickers to alert potential criminals that the system is in use.

“Activation of the system is not the goal, but rather to make would-be criminals think twice,” said Brown. “However, if an offender was sprayed with the forensic mist, and the case went to trial, there is irrefutable evidence to ensure conviction.”

SelectaDNA Spray supplies Auchan in France, DEEN Supermarkden and Jumbo in the Netherlands, and Irma and 7-Eleven in Denmark. It also works with Lidl and Netto on the Continent.