A new initiative has been launched to cut marine theft on the Norfolk Broads.

Norfolk Constabulary is promoting the use of the new SelectaDNA Marine Kit to boatyards, chandlers, clubs and groups in the area as part of its new BoatShield scheme.

The SelectaDNA Marine kit doesn’t just help recover a vessel and its contents in the event of theft, it is also designed as a deterrent. By marking each valuable item with SelectaDNA – a unique formula of DNA, UV tracer and microdots – and displaying a warning sticker on the boat, then the chances of theft are reduced.

The new BoatSheild scheme was launched at a Marine Crime Prevention Open Day at the Brundall Bay Marina, where boat owners were also encouraged to remove valuables from their boats and install boat alarms to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime.

PCSO Martin Chapman from the Broads Beat team said: ‘A lot of people will come off their boat in September, lock it up and think no more about it until next year, and in the spring we get all these reports.’

Last winter there were more than 40 reports of outboard motors being stolen from boats in the county but it is hoped the scheme will help cut such crime.

Broads Beat team inspector Teresa Eagleton, said: ‘I want boat owners to enjoy Norfolk’s beautiful waterways, but I also want them to be safe and secure and I urge them to join the BoatShield initiative. Signing up to it sends out a strong message to thieves that people with the BoatShield emblem have taken steps to secure their boat, and at the same time it will help boat owners to be aware of the risks.’

The Broads Beat team works with partnership agencies such as the Broads Authority, Environment Agency, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, coastguards and Norfolk police’s special branch in the fight against crime.

Inspector Eagleton, added: “The police role will be to make sure that information about security products and methods is passed through the BoatShield network. It is really important that we nurture our close link with the boating world and by working together I believe we can crack down on boat related crime in the county.”