A SECURITY system that uses DNA marking technology is allowing police to forensically place criminals at the scene of a crime – often the missing piece in the puzzle for gaining a conviction.
Made by DNA Security Solutions in South Australia, the DNA Guardian system uses unique DNA markers contained in a fine mist that is sprayed on offenders as they exit premises after committing a crime such as robbery. The mist is made up of 99.9 per cent purified water, a vegetable-based fluorescent dye and a unique synthetic DNA code - all of which are completely harmless.
The DNA marker cannot be washed or scrubbed off and will remain on an offender’s skin for six weeks and longer on their clothes.
Further important forensic evidence can also spread into getaway vehicles.
Co-creator Tania Jolley said the system can work independently or with other security systems such as security cameras and alarms.
“Often offenders are wearing balaclavas, hoodies or something to cover their face when they commit crimes, so something more than security cameras are definitely needed for positive identification of suspects,’’ she said.
“The criminals are sprayed from above as they exit, which can be triggered in numerous ways by employees. The mist is very fine and isn’t likely to be noticed unless people are expecting it.”
She said police were hampered regularly by placing a suspect at the scene of a crime, especially when someone is willing to supply a false alibi.
“With this system police can first check the person of interest with a ‘black light’ to see if they have the fluorescent dye on them and secondly by taking a simple swab of their clothes or their skin to test for the unique DNA marker. If the solutions matches the business that had the robbery, then you have your criminal.”
“Police don’t require the permission of the courts to carry out the DNA testing,” she said.
Every DNA Guardian system has a unique code.
Jolley used a $20,000 grant from the South Australian government to refine the materials in the spray to be compatible with common forensic machines.
“About 95 per cent of authorities around the world use the same type of forensic science platforms,’’ Jolley said.
“In the past 12 months we have been able to develop the DNA Guardian system so it will be compatible with all of these systems.
“This has now opened the door for us to pursue export potential for our product and ramp up our footprint across Australia.’’
“We are already starting to hold talks with companies in the United States and Indonesia.’’
The system is currently operating in hundreds of businesses across Australia, predominantly in service stations and gaming rooms within pubs and sporting clubs. The technology is suitable for any business that suffers criminal activity or is likely to suffer attacks.
“With a greater than 98 per cent success rate of reducing and eliminating crime, it is the most effective security system available.
“I think the most positive aspect of this system is that it works as a deterrent to criminals,’’ Jolley said. “It gives staff and customers a safe space and also peace of mind for management as they are complying with laws that dictate their Duty of Care.
“Highly visible signs are placed around the business using the system so the mind set of the potential criminal is altered. They are thinking it is not a good idea to try and rob this business.’’