To follow on from my last article regarding burglaries and crime prevention, I will turn to Asian Gold Burglaries, as they are referred to, where these valuables are specifically targeted.
It has been a long time since Rushmoor had a series of these types of crimes, however, there were a couple in August, which is a timely reminder that this can happen and for precautions to be taken.
Usually, crimes like these are organised and homes are targeted and the stolen items are sold on immediately to a network of handlers.
When these crimes do occur, there is a concentrated effort to find out who was involved, but in reality, organised crime is difficult to establish who is involved in the whole process, therefore crime prevention must become the focus where you can take steps to protect yourself.
Broadly speaking, there are two things that help; one is the security of your personal property and home, the second being forensic preservation, where some simple advice will help the police to recover any forensic evidence.
Dealing fist with your jewellery, it is so important to keep this in a safe place within the home, but a less obvious one too.
Typically, jewellery is kept in bedrooms, either in boxes or cupboards or drawers. These are the first places that criminals will look. However, keeping it elsewhere in your home will make it difficult and time consuming to find, which will help.
Those who burgle houses need to be quick and if they can`t find what they are looking for quickly, they won`t want to run the risk of having been seen and think the police have been called, so they will leave if they can`t find items quickly.
Some people use safety deposit boxes at a bank, which are secure, but the choice is a matter for the individual, but if you own high value items or those with special sentimental attachment, then this may be a consideration.
Jewellery does not have serial numbers like other items in your home, therefore it is very important to take a picture of it against a ruler. This will help with identifying it should stolen items be subsequently found during a police search of suspects homes, or in businesses who deal in selling jewellery.
Most importantly is the value; this must be agreed with an insurance company, otherwise what you think it is worth will not be paid for by the insurance company unless there has been an agreed valuation.
For people who are victims of crime, especially a house burglary, the forensic preservation is very important.
The distress caused by finding your home broken into prompts different reactions in victims: Some will be scared to enter their homes, whilst others will want to look all over the home to see what has happened and what has been taken.
In most cases, the police will send out a forensic officer quite quickly, if not the call taker will give you advice about how to be careful until one can attend.
Footwear marks and places that have been touched are vitally important, especially with the advanced forensic techniques, where DNA can be retrieved from places touched by offenders.
I could write quite a lot about what to do, but my best advice is stay out of the home and phone 999 because you cannot be sure if someone may still be inside and you will help by keeping your home preserved for the recovery of forensic evidence.
As in my last article, I will repeat the advice on our website, which will help with advice.
Festival season is rapidly approaching and this has been historically a period where the risk can increase.
Hampshire Constabulary recommend Immobilise (https://www.immobilise.com) to register your property with and they have access to the database where checks can be made when property is recovered from criminals.
The below is from the website:
If you have high value jewellery, please consider the following advice:
- If you have a quantity of valuable jewellery in your property, consider storing in another safe location such as a safety deposit box facility.
- 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. Check your privacy settings to ensure only friends and family can see your posts and photos.
Photograph each valuable piece of gold or jewellery and keep a written description – this will help police trace it back to you if it is ever stolen and will help identify it if attempts are made to sell it on.
- Ensure jewellery is adequately insured. Register all property (not just jewellery) for free on www.immobilise.com.
- Try to avoid decorating the outside of your home during religious festivals and events. Symbols, flags, lights or other emblems can help criminals identify homes where gold is likely to be present.
Other security measures include installing CCTV and an alarm and security lighting with motion sensors. For more information about crime prevention, visit www.hampshire.police.uk.