The Met Police are urging people in North-West London to protect family gold, as they continue to tackle organised crime in Harrow. Almost a third of burglaries in the region involve Asian families and, in around 50 per cent of cases, jewellery is stolen. In the last year, more than £50 million worth of gold has been taken across London.
Criminals will specifically target and use force to enter people’s homes where there is likely to be significant quantities of gold, frequently pre-planned and carried out in groups. 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.
It is proven that preventative methods do deter criminals. There are a number of steps that you can take in order to make your property less attractive to these criminal groups and in the unfortunate event when it does, give the police better opportunities to identify and prosecute offenders.
However please be assured, the Met is working hard to find and stop these criminals and will endeavour to secure convictions.
The following is a list of methods for residents to consider;
- Try not to keep gold at home if at all possible. Be aware that thieves will always search the bedroom, behind bath panels, loft, floor boards etc.
- Use a registered pawnbroker that offer storage service or a safety deposit box. (see the NPA website).
- Use a traceable liquid like SmartWater (contact your local ward officers).
- Photograph all jewellery on a white or plain surface – so we can appeal if it is stolen or appeal for it’s recovery & use for enquiries. Store the photographs in more than one place.
- Use only reputable trades in your home – don’t be tempted by cheap labour.
- Community Vigilance – Report suspicious activity however insignificant it may seem. Does it look out of the ordinary?
- CCTV / Camera Doorbells.
- Intruder Alarms.
- Do not answer the door to any people unknown/unexpected.
- Do not keep any keys by the front door, including car keys.
- If you have been a victim, give the 999 operator your location and any suspect vehicle index plate immediately.
- Be aware that Religious Symbols can be attractive.
- Utilise community Social Media Groups / Neighbourhood Watch schemes to share information.
- All windows & doors closed and locked when your premises is empty regardless of the weather. Be mindful of open windows/doors while you are in another part of your property.
- Clear foliage / over-growth from around the premises perimeter.
- Put lighting on Timer switches in the darker months.
- Ensure you have adequate Insurance Cover for your home and possessions.