Householders urged ‘to contaminate their property’ with microdots

2013-12-13 00:00

PROVINCIAL crime prevention head Brigadier Aaron Robert Harry is spearheading a campaign encouraging householders “to contaminate their property” with microdots in a bid to deter thieves.

The use of microdots has been a legal requirement on vehicles since September 2012 and now Harry wants to extend their use to household goods.

In October, while attending the annual International Association of Auto Theft Investigators in Rimini, Italy, Harry met Philip Opperman of Recoveri, which has pioneered the use of microdot technology to combat crime, including rhino poaching and livestock theft. “I thought why not do the same thing on household property,” said Harry, speaking on Wednesday night at a meeting of local CPFs and neighbourhood watches in the Upper Highway area.

The SAPS has partnered with Recoveri, SA Community Action Network, local community police forums (CPFs), and Nokia, who will provide the microdot kits, and will initially roll out the campaign in the Upper Highway area.

“We will be moving on from there to Phoenix, Montclair, Inanda and Mountain Rise,” said Harry. “We are targeting the entire province — and not just homes but schools. Computers are constantly being taken from schools …”

While the use of microdots on vehicles has seen a reduction in hijackings, the number of home invasions “is now becoming ridiculous”, says Opperman. “There are 18 a day, 365 days a year, in KwaZulu-Natal.”

The basic kit — which is currently priced at R149 — includes 1 000 microdots, each with a unique asset identification number linked to the Recoveri asset database, contained in an easily applied adhesive solution. “They provide indisputable proof of ownership,” says Opperman.

“They cannot be easily removed. If you put 300 on a flat screen TV it’s impossible to get rid of them all.”

Signage will accompany the roll-out, says SA CAN founder Brian Jones. “There will be signs on poles and on homes; we would like to be able to put up signs saying that every house in this area is contaminated to deter criminals.”

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