Police are turning to science in a bid to crack down on Yorkshire stone thieves.
Thanks to a donation from Boothtown Partnership, officers have purchased DNA kits to help catch offenders.
The kits will be used to mark stones potentially targeted by thieves. And if someone is caught with stones officers will be able to prove if they were stolen by giving them a quick scan.
PC Anna Law, who has responsibility for the Boothtown ward, said: “Yorkshire stone is being particularly targeted by thieves who are taking it from walls, churches and pavements and the thefts can impact on local communities.
“Tackling stone theft has been identified as a problem in this area so we are taking action to prevent it. These DNA kits will not only mean that we are able to bring people responsible for theft to justice but will also act as a preventative measure too.”
PC Law thanked Boothtown Partnership for its donation.
Inspector Rachel Bairstow, of the Calder Valley NPT, said: “Members of the community have told me and other officers that dealing with this problem is an issue - and so we have demonstrated that if you tell us what the problem is then we will take action.”
Insp Bairstow urged residents to be vigilant and said stones are often taken in broad daylight by thieves wearing high visibilty jackets to blend in as council workers.
“Unless they are kitted out with equipment and vans saying Calderdale Council I would encourage residents to call police,” she added.