After two armed robberies in 18 months the Beresfield Bowling Club is fighting back and has installed a system that uses a unique DNA mist to catch criminals.
The forensic marking technology marks the perpetrator and links them to the scene of the crime.
“I didn’t want staff to have to go through that again,” CEO Ian Frame said.
“It is a way for us to beef up security when the region is seeing more robberies of clubs and there is this ice problem.”
In January, staff at the bowling club were held-up at knife-point as they were emptying cash registers in the early hours of the morning.
A similar robbery took place at the club in October 2013, when a man armed with a gun threatened two staff members for money and left them shaken but unhurt.
“Hopefully this will be a way to deter them from robbing us again,” Mr Frame said.
DNA Security Solutions installed the system, an Australian invention, yesterday.
When an intruder sets off the system it sprays an invisible mist that contains a unique code, similar to human DNA.
This mist attaches to the offender’s skin, clothes and equipment, marking them for the police.
The DNA stays on the skin for several months and sticks to clothes or equipment for a longer period of time.
When police do track down the offender, a simple swab test detects the DNA and tells them which venue they were marked in and when they were there, linking the criminal to the crime.
“It has a 100 per cent conviction rate,” DNA Security Solutions business development manager Jeffre Murray said.
“And it has a 98 per cent reduction rate in criminal activity.”
The DNA system has been around for years, but the recent robberies prompted the installation at Beresfield.
Until 2013 the bowling club had not been robbed in more than 20 years and Mr Frame feared it would be a growing trend.
The latest crime statistics showed a reduction in break and enters to residential dwellings, but robbery with a weapon almost doubled in the Maitland local government area.
The main aim is to deter criminals from entering the premises, with a large sign at the front of the club to say the system has been installed.
Mr Murray said the warning was so effective that at another location in NSW, CCTV footage showed three men armed with guns walk up to the front of a club, see the sign and use their smartphones to get more information.
When they realised what the system did they turned around and left the premises.
The same night a club four kilometres down the road was held-up at gun point.
“It shows the criminals that the risk of capture has gone up exponentially,” he said. “So go elsewhere.”