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Crime gangs are targeting Asian families for gold
12:10pm Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
BURGLARS target one Asian household every three days in Essex on the prowl for valuable gold and jewellery, it has been revealed.
Since April this year, 70 Asian gold burglaries have taken place in the county with at least one in every district.
In several cases, victims have lost family heirlooms, which have been passed through the generations and are worth tens of thousands of pounds.
Police believe organised gangs of crooks spy on their victims, targeting the homes of Asian families or retired couples in pre-planned raids.
In the burglaries that have taken place, despite having the opportunity to take electrical items and other valuables, the thieves have only taken the valuable jewellery, leading detectives to believe each home has been specifically targeted.
Now, with Asian communities preparing for the religious festival of Eid and Diwali – a time where families traditionally purchase more gold and have it ready to wear – Essex Police is launching an awareness campaign to cut the crime.
Codenamed Operation Atlantic, the campaign aims to make the Asian community aware of the growing crime and encourage them to ensure their jewellery is photographed, insured and locked away securely.
Det Insp Paul Maleary said: “Essex has a blossoming Asian culture and, as their local police force, we must ensure they are aware of what we are doing to eliminate the problem by identifying the criminals and locking them up.
“If possible, invest in a home safe to securely store jewellery inside and also avoid discussing in public when you and your loved ones will be away from home.”
During the next few weeks police will visit temples and mosques in Essex in order to liaise with community leaders and Islamic leaders.
In addition, police will distribute leaflets and posters about the crime to try to raise awareness of the crime throughout the county.
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