Scheme continues to grow in UK following Home Office backing.
Hertfordshire Police Force has given its backing the NAG, BJA’s and National Pawnbrokers Association’s voluntary Gold Standard for the sale and purchase of second-hand precious metals.
The scheme, originally set up in conjunction with Surrey Police, continues to spread nationwide as jewellers, police forces and local councils across the country take on the scheme, which aims to fight back against the high-value thefts of precious metals.
On taking on the scheme Detective Inspector Paul Doran of Hertfordshire Police’s crime reduction unit, said: “When the price of gold is high, we can see a rise in burglaries where gold and jewellery may be targeted.
“The Gold Standard aims to reduce the opportunity to sell stolen precious metal jewellery, including Asian gold, in quick anonymous sales. If there’s no market for thieves to profit from, there’s no need for the crime.”
“By working with the jewellery and pawn broking trade, we will attempt to prevent them from becoming inadvertent handlers of stolen property whilst also reinforcing that should they break the law, we will fully investigate and prosecute those found to be handling stolen goods,” he added.
The initiative continues to grow and has continued to win support from Assistant Chief Constable Alison Roome-Gifford and the ACPO Burglary Working Group, the Home Office, the Trading Standards Institute and the National Measurement Office.
The Gold Standard is encouraging responsible trading through the introductions of a number of verification, evaluation and best practice protocols, designed to provide both retailers and customers with a sense of added security while acting also acting as a deterrent to offenders attempting to re-enter stolen property into the market.
Gold Standard accredited shops will be required to formally record every transaction, including details of the customer’s identity, and check the items for forensic property marking.
The NAG’s chief executive Michael Hoare said of Hertfordshire Police’s decision to implement the scheme: “We’re really pleased to see this initiative is expanding beyond its original boundaries and that other police forces are adopting the scheme.
“The NAG’s attack on crime is two-pronged – the first is the sharing of intelligence through SaferGems and the second is the prevention of stolen goods re-entering the supply chain through the Gold Standard.
"Working in tandem these two measures should be pivotal in combating crime against the jewellery industry. It’s great to receive this news just a month to the day since the NAG’s first Retail Security Conference as it really shows that the industry is starting to work with police in taking steps to strengthen its defences,” he added.
Michael Hoare and Neil McFarlane of jewellery insurer TH March were named Trailblazers in the Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2012 for their work with the SaferGems initiative.