Gloucestershire Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner recently joined forces to present the Impact Awards 2021 to more than 30 people across 17 awards to recognise individuals who had shown outstanding dedication and commitment to their work and within their communities.
Cellmark was delighted to have been asked to contribute to a video for the Combatting Pet Theft Award which was presented to Kim Mowday, Gloucestershire’s Harm Reduction Advisor and Chris Allen, Head of Forensic Services for their significant contribution to the launch of DNA Protected, believed to be the world’s first Dog DNA Database service developed to tackle the problem of dog theft.
Working in partnership with Cellmark, a forensic services provider with over 30 years’ experience in DNA testing, Kim and Chris researched the possibility of starting a dog DNA database to help reduce dog theft and also to enable stolen dogs to be reunited with their owners if they couldn’t be identified by their microchip. Once up and running, local communities were given the opportunity to purchase the service at a discounted price as part of a force-wide crime reduction initiative and the reaction from local dog owners has been extremely positive.
Managing Director at Cellmark, David Hartshorne said “What’s been great about all of this is not only how quickly we’ve got this up and running, but also how brilliant it has been to work with Kim and the team. It’s only by working in partnership that we managed to get the service up in around three months which was really in response to a crime issue that was happening right now.”
Since the launch, other police forces across the country have been looking to implement similar initiatives and dog owners across the UK have been able to take their dog’s DNA and store it securely on the database, knowing that their four-legged friend is safer from theft as a result.