Londoners warned to be vigilant during Asian religious festivals.
London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MSP) has today launched a new operation dedicated to tackling the rising number of gold thefts in the capital.
The operation means that, for the first time, crimes or robberies where gold appears to have been the target will be logged and tracked by a group of specialist officers. The officers hope to build a database of intelligence to help catch thieves and gangs involved in gold robberies.
The Met said that the rising value of gold and the increasing ease in which it can be exchanged for cash has helped to drive a rise in gold-related offences in London.
Although the operation will focus on the theft of all gold across the capital, London’s Asian community has been found to account for a disproportionately high amount of the victims targeted with Asian households accounting for 24% of all burglaries whereby jewellery was taken and account for 16% of all repeat burglary victims.
The operation has been launched to ensure Londoners are extra vigilant against burglaries as the nights draw in and the season of Asian religious festivals begin including Diwali and Navratri.
The Met is hoping that better use of SmartWater will help to curb crimes, and there is set to be greater use of UV lamps during the execution of search warrants and examination of prisoner property as well as setting up visits to pawnbrokers and second-hand traders across London to increase the search for traceable liquid.
According to stats from the MSP, in recent years thefts from homes have increased between the months of October and January. The leader of the MPS operation against gold thefts Detective Chief Inspector Jane Corrigan said: "This new way of recording and working on gold related offences will compliment other operations and reduce the effects of serious acquisitive crime.
"Gold is highly desired by criminals due to its increasing value, the reluctance of owners to property mark their jewellery and the speed and anonymity in which it can be exchanged for large sums of cash.
"Whilst suspects are being arrested and put before the courts for breaking into people’s homes and snatching gold jewellery, my advice to all Londoners who keep gold at home and wear gold jewellery when out is take to take some simple, but effective measures to reduce the chances of them becoming a victim by reading our crime prevention advice on the Met’s website or contacting their local Safer Neighbourhoods team for advice."