1. ITV Report

Dangerous off road bikers to be targeted with invisible DNA spray

An off-road bike being driven on a main road. Credit: ITV News Central

DNA spray will be used as part of the latest police tactics against dangerous off-road bikers across the West Midlands.

Around 40 traffic cops are being given the canisters to 'tag' motorbikes and riders causing a nuisance in communities.

The DNA liquid is invisible to the naked eye but when exposed to UV light illuminates and allows officers to identify people and seize their bikes.

The genetic material in each canister has a unique 'barcode' which means officers can trace suspects to a particular crime or anti-social incident.

West Midlands Police Chief Superintendent Dave Sturman said the spray will "undoubtedly lead to more seizures and prosecutions."

"It's not an irritant and won't cause any side effects - but it leaves an indelible mark that cannot be scrubbed off.

"It officers are unable to apprehend offenders at the time they can utilise the spray - and if it later shows up on suspects, their clothes or bikes we can link them to a particular incident.

The spray has previously been used by police in Merseyside and London with considerable success.

West Midlands Police arrested 44 suspected 'bike louts', and seized 38 motorbikes, in December 2016 and March this year.

They remain on police bail pending a charging decision by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The DNA spray is initially being trialled by teams of traffic officers ahead or a proposed force-wide roll-out.