Company Blog

APDN's DNA marking rapidly spreading in Sweden as law enforcement aid

October 10, 2012

M. Miller

Applied DNA Science’s smartDNA product is making waves in Sweden.  Or perhaps we should say it is reducing them, at least if the topic is crime waves.  In recent months, the test of our company’s smartDNA security system on a considerable stretch of Swedish railroad track by the Swedish Transport Adminstration has become very public indeed.    The Swedish news site Sydsvenskan featured the initiative this week,. Television and other media attention has been frequent.

An information officer for the Administartion, Jonas Bengtsson, told Sydsvenskan that “a national effort is being made ​​in cooperation with the police.”  In fact, the police in Sweden have adopted smartDNA nationally in its own right as an aid in law enforcement.  We hope to tell you more about that in the near future.

smartDNA uses the same uncopyable, plant-based DNA marker that is present in SigNature DNA and other Applied DNA Sciences products.  In the Swedish railway test, smartDNA is applied to the track to deter rampant theft of copper, used in the conductors in the national rail system.    If a thief were to attempt a robbery, the substance can mark both the stolen copper and the robber himself with an indentifying code.

Reported copper theft in Sweden during 2011 skyrocketed to 120 million kronor, or about $18 million USD.   Theft of copper has also spread in countries like the United Kingdom and in the U.S. as the price of copper has soared since roughly 2009.

Deployment of an anti-theft DNA spray in Sweden has now spread to dozens of jewelry stores, where the threat of its use seems to be already having its effect.  A group of ten jewelers had experienced seventeen armed robberies in the year before their deployment of smartDNA.  In the year since, their accrued experience is down to three robberies, or an 83% decrement in crime rate.   



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