Police issue Diwali warning after £45 million of Asian gold jewellery stolen last year
- Credit: Archant
With Diwali celebrations just around the corner, police are warning residents to be on their guard after new data revealed more than £45 million of gold jewellery was stolen from Asian families last year.
Officers from the Met Police issued the warning today after new figures revealed the extent of gangs targeting Asian gold jewellery last year, especially during the five-day festival of light that kicks off next Tuesday evening.
The Met Police’s analysis has shown organised criminal networks are increasingly involved in lucrative ‘family gold theft’ which disproportionately affects Asian families across the capital, especially during the run up to the festive season.
The Met has stepped up its efforts to tackle gold thieves through Operation Nugget, which seeks to drive down the numbers of offences and bring more gold thieves to justice.
DCI Jane 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.
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“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.”
Officers have advised families to safeguard their valuables this festive season by taking the following precautions:
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- Make a photographic record of valuables to prove ownership and mark them with traceable liquid such as Smartwater®.
- Install burglar alarms and CCTV as a deterrent.
- If you do wear valuables out, cover them up so you don’t draw attention to them.
- Leave gold at home in a safe secured to a wall or floor.
- When out, keep to well lit areas and try not to travel alone.
Heena Patel, coordinator of the Family Gold Network, said: “The Family Gold Network are a group of volunteers who are trying to raise awareness of gold crime and offer advice and ideas on how to keep yourself and your belongings safe. Check our website to find information and pass on ideas to others in your community who are vulnerable and could be targeted.”
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