Police Warning Over Family Gold Thefts

Criminal networks are targeting various communities across London

Gold thefts


Sign up for our weekly Ealing newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Police are warning Londoners to be on guard as thieves target family gold - particularly during the Diwali festival - the five-day festival of light taking place this week from Thursday, 19 October. .

The Metropolitan Police Service has revealed more than £50 million worth of gold and jewellery has been stolen from communities across the capital in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Last year there were 3,463 offences where gold or jewellery was stolen from Asian families across London.

Intelligence continues to show organised criminal networks are increasingly involved in lucrative 'family gold theft' which affects many families including those from the Asian, Jewish and Maltese communities across various locations in the Capital.

Combined with the annual rise in burglary and robbery at this time of year and as the nights draw in, this makes communities particularly vulnerable to thieves keen to cash in on the gold which is then often sold through second hand outlets.

Burglars use various tactics and are even known to rip up floorboards, remove bath panels and removes safes. It is therefore essential for the public to help prevent these offences by taking the following precautions:

- Take a photograph of your valuables - it is the only way officers can prove it belongs to you if a burglar is stopped.

- Property mark your jewellery, by using a traceable liquid such as SmartWater®, this gives police the best chance of reuniting victims with their stolen property, if recovered. The website www.securedbydesign.com provides information on traceable liquids.

- Consider installing CCTV cameras and burglar alarms as a deterrent.

- Avoid keeping jewellery in bedrooms and bathrooms - this is often the first place a burglar will look.

- Consider keeping your jewellery safe with the National Pawnbrokers Association rather than in a safe which can be removed.

- If you do wear valuables out whilst travelling in public, cover them up so you don't draw attention to them.

- If you do decide to store your valuables in a safe, ensure it is secured to a wall or floor. 

- When out, keep to well-lit areas and try not to travel alone.

The festival period tends to see a spike in this type of crime largely due to more gold and jewellery being worn as communities travel across London to different venues - whether temples or to other people's homes.

The Met has continued to step up its efforts to tackle gold thieves through Operation Nugget, which seeks to drive down the numbers of offences and bring more perpetrators to justice through a series of different initiatives.

Detective Superintendent Jane Corrigan, the Met's lead for Operation Nugget, is spearheading a multi-pronged approach to tackle the problem of gold crime by addressing the issues on a series of different fronts.

This includes the marking of gold and jewellery, working with partners to offer secure storage facilities to store precious items and building community contacts via the Family Gold Network.

Detective Superintendent Corrigan said: "Gold will continue to be highly desired by criminals due to the speed and anonymity with which it can be exchanged for large sums of cash.

"These pieces of gold and jewellery are not just valuable possessions, they are also of great sentimental worth, and if stolen, would have a huge impact on owners.

"Our proactive measures to tackle these crimes has seen reductions in offences, however there is more to be done.

"As part of this work, we urge Londoners to take action to safeguard their gold and jewellery by following our simple crime prevention advice."

To find out more on how to protect yourself and your property visit: www.met.police.uk/crime-prevention


18th October 2017


Bookmark and Share