Police Warnings Over Gold Thefts

Increase in burglaries at times of popular festivals

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Police say gold and jewellery thefts from local homes increase between October and January - coinciding with popular festivals such as Navratri and Diwal.

They're urging local residents to take care of their valuables, in a renewed awareness campaign called Operation Nugget.

Whilst overall crime is falling they say burglaries tend to increase as the darker nights are drawn in and the clocks change.

One of the factors that contribute to this is a rise in the theft of high-value portable goods and gold jewellery being sold for cash through the second-hand market - largely driven by the high value of gold.

Over the next few months popular festivals will be marked across London with many thousands of families joining together to celebrate. This can result in an increase in burglaries due to more gold and jewellery being present in celebrating households.

Inspector Gareth Winnard said:

"Ealing Borough police are pleased that this met wide operation has been launched to target this period of the year when we have a disproportionate number of crimes committed against our Asian Communities.
Clearly the religious festivals, the overt wearing of expensive gold and the periods when residents are away from their homes to attend festivals and events is an opportunity for some members of the criminal fraternity to seize the opportunity. Our aim is to make it as hard as possible for them to identify and target individuals and their homes and to investigate these crimes robustly if and when they occur. Engaging and working with our communities is key to this and I am confident our communities will work with us to reduce crime and identify offenders".

Police Advice:

Do not leave valuables on display so they can be seen from the outside.
Store high-value goods in a safe when you are not at home. Remember to secure the safe to the floor or wall.
Remember to lock all your doors and windows when you leave your home unattended
Consider using time switches for lights if you are away from home. Use of LED bulbs will not be a drain on your electricity bill.
Photograph any items of jewellery separately.
Where possible, and if you are wearing or holding valuable items, always travel to and from your celebration in a group using well-lit streets. Try to avoid walking alone.
If you drive, keep your car locked and remember where it is parked.
Consider the use of Property Identity pens and solutions.

Ealing officers and Safer Neighbourhoods Teams will be handing out crime preventative literature on the transport routes and through local team meetings.

For your local team’s meetings and events, please go to http://content.met.police.uk/Borough/Ealing

To use our new interactive graphic or get more crime prevention tips and advice on how to secure your home Londoners are encouraged to go to http://content.met.police.uk/Site/virtualhousetour

http://content.met.police.uk/Site/crimepreventionbumblebee. You can also contact your local Safer Neighbourhoods Team. In an emergency, always dial 999.




16th October 2013