Police crackdown on London gold theft

Thieves leaving home on moped Thieves stole a safe containing £2,000 worth of jewellery in Bromley in July

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Police in London have launched a new operation to target gold thefts.

Officers will record the amount of gold taken to help specialist teams gather information and identify the thieves.

The Metropolitan Police said Asian homes accounted for nearly a quarter of all burglaries where jewellery was taken.

Homeowners are being encouraged to be vigilant ahead of Asian religious festivals.

'Repeat burglaries'

The operation will tackle all thefts across the capital, but officers acknowledged that Asian householders are often targeted for gold and cash.

Police said in recent years thefts from homes between October and January spiked as family celebrations begin.

Det Ch Insp Jane Corrigan said the new way of recording gold-related offences could "compliment other operations".

She said: "Gold is highly desired by criminals due to its increasing value, the reluctance of owners to properly mark their jewellery and the speed and anonymity in which it can be exchanged for large sums of cash."

She urged people to take measures to reduce their chances of them becoming a victim by using traceable liquid to mark jewellery, which can only be read under ultraviolet light.

Police statistics show Asian homes also accounted for 16% of all repeat burglaries.

A team of specialist officers will also be notified if victims of crime believe they have been targeted specifically for their gold jewellery.

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