Gold price spike puts London women in danger of crime

17:35 04 August 2011

Gold jewellery is prized by criminals

Gold jewellery is prized by criminals

Archant

Women are being put at extra risk of falling victim to crime because the price of gold is so high, warn police.

Thefts and robberies of jewellery have jumped in recent months in London.

In one case a 20 year-old disabled woman in a wheelchair had her gold chain snatched from her neck by a man, who fled on a bicycle.

Criminals often bid to sell stolen items to second-hand goods shops like Cash Convertors, in order to get money quickly and distance themselves from the crime.

Gold has soared in value because of uncertainty gripping markets around the world, as economies struggle to emerge from credit-crash of 2008.

Investors are confident that gold is a safe bet, when other investments appear far more risky.

That activity on international money markets is now trickling down onto the streets of London, it seems.

As a result, the Metropolitan Police and Cash Convertors have struck an agreement to share information about suspicious transactions.

“The Met takes street robbery very seriously and we are determined to crack down on this type of crime which is extremely traumatic for the victim,” said deputy assistant commissioner, Stephen Kavanagh.

“This agreement provides us with an excellent opportunity to do so, particularly in relation to robbery and burglary.

“Criminals will have no place to hide and this will make it easier for us to identify, arrest and prosecute them. We are also asking the public to be vigilant and make it harder for thieves by taking some basic measures like not having their jewellery on show.

“Operation Target is committed to cutting crime across the capital to help build a safer community whilst increasing public confidence.”

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