Gloucestershire Constabulary is the first police force in the world to use DNA profiling to tackle dog thefts – and all it takes is a simple mouth swab from your pooch.
The new scheme – known as DNA Protected – is being put in place to protect dog owners against theft by using a DNA marker system developed for forensic analysis to help investigate criminal cases.
After taking a swab from the dog’s mouth, its DNA is then stored on a database, where their information will be easily accessible to police forces and could help to ensure their safe return if they are ever stolen.
The scheme also aims to deter and prevent dog thefts, giving owners peace of mind that their beloved pet is protected.
DNA Protected products will soon be available on Neighbourhood Engagement Vehicles, with teams going out across Gloucestershire in the coming weeks. Owners will also be able to purchase their own kits.
Temporary chief inspector, Emma MacDonald, who is also the liaison between the OPCC and Constabulary for dog theft, said: ‘There has been a national rise in dog thefts since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic and I am hopeful that this initiative will help to reassure owners and protect the dogs of Gloucestershire.’
This plan goes hand-in-hand with newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Nelson’s 5-point plan to tackle dog theft across the county soglos.com/new-protect-your-pooch-campaign.
By Zoe Gater
Monday 28 June 2021