Keeping your gold and jewellery safe this winter
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Detectives from Northamptonshire Police’s Burglary Team are issuing advice to help people keep their high-value jewellery and gold safe from burglars, as part of Operation Crooked.
With the clocks going back at the end of October and a historical increase in burglaries over the winter period, people with high-value gold or jewellery should think about getting ahead of the game and protecting their property as best they can so as not to make their home a target for burglars.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Rogers, of the Northamptonshire Police Burglary Team, said: “The main piece of advice we’d give owners of high-value gold or jewellery is to not store these items in your home.
“The Metro Bank, based in Northampton town centre and in Milton Keynes, has safety deposit box facilities where you can store your possessions, including gold and jewellery, for that peace of mind.
“We’d also encourage people to think about reviewing their home security to make their property too much of a hard target for burglars to think of hitting and to report any suspicious activity in their area to us.”
Operation Crooked is Northamptonshire Police’s campaign to reduce burglary - a top priority for the Force. As part of the operation, the Burglary Team, which sits within CID, ensures that every burglary victim in Northamptonshire is guaranteed a visit from the police.
They are also working to review and drive up the quality of investigations, manage and progress forensic hits, hunt down wanted people, organise police patrols in areas of concern and gather intelligence to prevent burglaries before they happen.
Advice on keeping your gold and jewellery safe:
- Don’t store high value gold and jewellery in your home, even if you have a safe fitted. 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. The Metro Bank in Northampton town centre is the closest location with safety deposit box facilities
- 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®. 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 cat flaps, and check callers before opening the door. Further advice is available at northants.police.uk/crimeprevention
- Invest in an approved house alarm – this is a real deterrent to burglars. Search for approved systems and installers at 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 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