1. ITV Report

'DNA spray' which clings to fleeing moped raiders being trialled to clampdown on soaring street crime

A 'DNA spray' which clings to fleeing moped raiders is being trialled to clampdown on soaring street crime.

Credit: Met Police

The chemical spray can stick to skin and clothes for months - allowing police to arrest 'moped-enabled' thieves weeks after a crime.

Each batch of the chemical, which cops spray onto suspects who can't be chased for safety reasons, has a unique DNA code which can link them to the crime.

It is being used by forces including the Metropolitan Police to clampdown on soaring incidents of crooks using mopeds to carry out crimes including robbery and acid attacks.

We are currently trialling an identifying liquid that can be seen under UV light and can be sprayed at an offender for identification purposes.

– Met Police

If police find the 'DNA spray' on a suspect's skin or clothes, the unique DNA code can connect them to a crime.

Surrey Police said it is also using the spray in situations when it is too dangerous to pursue a suspect, including when a moped raider is not wearing a helmet.

I hope the actions from the day send a clear message to people using scooters to commit crimes - they will be marked and consequently identified from the DNA UV spray.

– Inspector Alan Sproston, Spelthorne Safer Neighbourhood Team
  • The spray shows up under ultraviolet light from special bulbs fitted in police custody suites
  • It is completely invisible to the naked eye and can't be scrubbed off skin or clothing
  • Similar spray is already used across Britain to mark personal possessions, meaning stolen items can be traced back to their owners
  • But it is thought to be the first time it will be used against criminals caught in the act