Theft of valuable gold jewellery
The price of gold has increased sevenfold since 2011, making it a serious target for criminals. Since late 2017 a number of burglaries targeting gold jewellery have taken place across Northamptonshire, as well as in neighbouring counties. Jewellery stolen is likely to be what is known as family gold, inherited and heirloom items with sentimental significance as well as a high financial value.
Northamptonshire Police has a specialist team of detectives working on these crimes, and our priority is to bring the offenders responsible to justice so our communities can feel safe in their homes. We are also offering support and reassurance to victims and the wider community, including providing crime prevention advice, signposting to Voice victim support services and attending regular community meetings to answer questions and address concerns.
Anyone with any information about the theft of gold jewellery, or who has seen any suspicious activity or vehicles in their community, is asked to contact Northamptonshire Police on 101, or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
We are also promoting crime prevention advice to help our communities reduce their risk of crime. Please use and share these tips, which can also be downloaded as a PDF below.
Protecting family gold
- We recommend removing your gold and jewellery from your home and storing it in a safety deposit box to keep it and your family as safe as possible. Police officers are working with financial institutions to make these schemes more readily available in Northamptonshire. For now, Metro Bank in Milton Keynes is the closest location with safety deposit box facilities
- Don’t store high value gold and jewellery in your home, even if you have a safe fitted. The best place for it is in a safety deposit box. This will help protect your family and home too
- Don’t talk about your valuable gold and jewellery outside your home and don’t tell people that you have it
- Avoid posting about weddings, festivals or other celebrations on social media – criminals may see your posts and work out when you won’t be at home, or use your photos to identify valuables, including gold jewellery. Ensure your privacy settings mean only people you know can see your profile, posts and pictures
- When attending events, consider only putting your jewellery on when you arrive, and removing it again before you leave. Travel to and from celebrations in a group, using well-lit streets. If you get a taxi, check you are using a licensed, reputable firm
- If you do wear jewellery in public, be discreet – consider wearing a scarf to cover your neckline, and a long-sleeved coat to cover your wrists
- Make sure your jewellery is marked with a suitable security product such as SmartWater® and register your property free of charge at www.immobilise.com. Find information on traceable liquids at www.securedbydesign.com. You may also consider having items laser engraved with your name
- Photograph each piece of valuable gold or jewellery and keep a written description - this will help in appealing for information and returning it to you if it is ever stolen
- Ensure jewellery is adequately covered by your insurance, with an agreed valuation. Keep all original insurance documents, receipts, photographs, valuations and certificates of authenticity safe – do not store them with your items
- Try to avoid decorating the outside of your home during religious festivals and events. Symbols, flags, lights or other emblems can all help criminals identify homes where gold is likely to be present. Be mindful of displaying religious icons on your vehicle as well
- Improve your home security. Always keep doors and windows locked, keep keys out of sight and reach of doors, windows, letterboxes and catflaps, and check callers before opening the door. Further advice is available at www.northants.police.uk/crime-prevention
- Invest in an approved house alarm – this is a real deterrent to burglars. Search for approved systems and installers at www.nsi.org.uk or www.ssaib.org
- Consider joining your local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. If there's no local scheme, why not start your own? Find out more at www.northantsnhw.co.uk
- Sign up to Northamptonshire Neighbourhood Alert for regular updates about crime and policing in your area
- Report suspicious vehicles in your area or any activity you think is suspicious to police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency, call 999
Further crime prevention advice