Car thieves who have of late been terrorising Botswana car owners might have met their match in datadots technology.
Although the technology has long been used in developed countries for a while now, it only arrived in Botswana a few years back and for a technology so little known the uptake from locals is still low.
So good and effective is the technology that in South Africa, a country hard hit by not only crime but has some of the highest car hijackings incidents ever in the world, they have made it a law that every car, purchased and registered or deregistered in South Africa is installed with this ‘magical’ microdots.
A company that opened shop in Botswana a year ago called Veridot DNA for Assets has however taken it upon itself to mobilise local vehicle owners and other stakeholders to use the technology in numbers.
Explaining how the technology works, Veridot’s representative in Botswana Sydney Nyahora said the veridots are made up of Nickel base material which is highly resistant to heat and extreme weather conditions this he says then make them durable. A UV trace element in the adhesive makes it simple to identify that a vehicle has been micro dotted. Packaged in an aerosol can he says this then makes the product completely versatile and portable solution.
According to Nyahora, VERIDOT contains unique holographic technology which is virtually impossible to tamper with and is admissible in a court of law. Each holographic microdot he said has up to 4 different layers of forensic security. “All VERIDOT'S contain a special laser verification feature used in high end forensic investigations that will prove ownership even if attempts have been made to tamper with the PIN number and hologram,” Nyahora said.
In a vehicle a minimum of 10 000 of tiny VERIDOT'S are applied to strategic places and according to Nyahora each VERIDOT contains a unique PIN number, which is loaded onto their data base to prove ownership. The vehicle and owners details he said will then automatically be uploaded to the fitment certificate as the details are captured by the fitter. In case of theft, Nyahora says all the police need is one Veridot Microdot to prove ownership. “The current statistics released by South African officials indicate that vehicles marked with microdots show a 50% reduction in theft or hijacking and an increased recovery rate of 87% this means a reduction of risk to the owners and other stakeholders,” he said.
Though not a substitute for car tracking devices and alarms, Nyahore said Veridot’s very much a deterrent and as effective as other protective means or even better as it is connected to a reliable data base and has a traceable history to an asset, proves real ownership and enables law enforcement agents to identify rightful owners of stolen insured property.
Meanwhile Sub Inspector Andrew Mbazo of Botswana Police Service’s Serious Crimes Unit under the Motor Vehicle theft department said they are aware of the existence of the invention and in fact used it to help identify a stolen vehicle from South Africa that was intercepted locally.
According to Mbazo, although the police have their standard ways of conducting investigation and presenting evidence in court, the datadot technology just like other accessories can be uses as additional evidence in court. He was of the view that given a chance locally, the technology will come in handy not only to the police but to the vehicle owners as well.