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Product Innovation Winner at the UK Rail Industry Awards

Selectamark Security Systems PLC is delighted to have won the prestigious Product Innovation Award at the UK Rail Industry Awards 2016 (held on Thursday, 11 February), which celebrated excellence and innovation in the rail industry.

Up against some extremely tough competition in the Product Innovation category, the award was presented for the use of Selectamark's forensic marking product SelectaDNA, which has helped reduce metal theft on Network Rail lines.

Selectamark has been working closely with security solutions group Land Sherrifs since 2011 to successfully reduce and deter metal theft on routes owned by Network Rail, including the
Anglia, Kent and Sussex lines, and on the HS1 route, which is maintained by Network Rail under contract to HS1 Ltd.

The collaboration has been highly successful in reducing metal theft on all marked routes using our SelectaDNA Trace product.

SelectaDNA is a specially formulated spray containing UV markers, synthetic DNA and metal particles that can be used to identify the cable as belonging to a particular rail operator and coming from a specific location. It has been deployed at specific crime hotspots along the routes to reduce the number of thefts of rail equipment such as copper cable, rail track and signal boxes belonging to Network Rail.

There have been no live cable thefts for nearly two years on the HS1 rail route since SelectaDNA has been used to protect the entire line (2013–15).

Chris Gough at Land Sheriffs said: "Having thousands of visible SelectaDNA signs in place has also acted as a deterrent and helped us achieve the low amount of cable crime on the HS1 route. This is as a direct result of using SelectaDNA. "

Over the course of 12 months (2012–13), use of SelectaDNA Trace in conjunction with other security measures, helped reduce cable theft on Network Rail’s Anglia route by 82% and helped cut delays by 86%.

This has not only seen savings made from not having to purchase and install new cable, but also from the hugely important reductions in delay minutes, which are extremely costly to Network Rail and the industry in general, but also incredibly inconvenient for their customers.

Tyler Le May from LandSherrifs said: "Once metal has been marked, its resale value to the criminal plummets. Through our collaborative work with Selectamark, we have found SelectaDNA to be a highly effective way of deterring metal thieves in the first instance. "

He continued: "Thieves know that if they are caught with metal marked with SelectaDNA then the police are able to connect them directly to a particular theft and they will almost certainly be convicted. "

The partnership between SelectaDNA, Land Sheriffs and Network Rail has been a cost-effective but hugely beneficial one, helping the South East of England combat the plague of metal theft with great effect.

James Brown, MD of Selectamark said: "When we were selected by Network Rail and High Speed 1 as their chosen Forensic Marking provider, we were 100% focussed and determined to help drive down metal theft on the railways.

"Whilst we had every confidence in our technology and its proven ability to deter theft and convict criminals, we knew it would take a significant team effort to realise the ambitious goals of the project.

"In particular, we would like to acknowledge the efforts of British Transport Police and the Metropolitan Police for their ongoing commitment to search for SelectaDNA-marked cable and metals, and Search Dogs UK for their support and expertise in training the world’s first forensic marking search dog. "

He concluded: "Finally I must thank Land Sheriffs for their efforts in deploying our technology, and all the other highly significant tactics they employ to protect and safeguard Network Rail’s infrastructure, employees and, indeed, the general public. "

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