Wales

Police in Wrexham use DNA spray in illegal bike fight

Motorbike tyre in the mud Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Local people have complained that illegal off-road bikers are causing problems

A DNA "tagging spray" that cannot be washed off is to be used by police to try to identify and catch illegal off-road bikers.

Officers in Wrexham will be able to mark the bikes, clothing and skin of any riders with an invisible dye.

The genetic material in each canister has a unique code which links suspects who are arrested, or any bikes recovered, to a crime.

If successful, it could be used across north Wales.

Concerns have been raised by residents about problems caused by illegal motorbikes in the Caia Park area of the town.

Officers will now be trained to have the spray, which has been used by other police forces in the UK, including the Metropolitan Police in their fight against moped crime.

North Wales Police said the DNA spray was a water-based product and would not cause any harm, irritation or side effects to those sprayed with it.

However, it does leave a mark that cannot be scrubbed off and will be visible via UV light from officers' torches and in custody suites for a long period of time, the force added.

"Even a drop of DNA spray will mark riders and their bikes for a long time," said Sgt Simon Williams, of the Neighbourhood Policing Team.

"This tactic will undoubtedly lead to seizures and prosecutions."

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