Indian jewellery being targeted again

Thieves are once again targeting Indian gold jewellery


As is fairly well-known, the last few years have seen a disturbing number of burglaries deliberately targeting the British Asian community. Stories are frequently heard of criminals breaking and entering Asian families’ homes in the search for Indian gold jewellery, in some cases using metal detectors to find gold that innocent families mistakenly believed was well-concealed in clever hiding places, and on more than one occasion actually removing locked safes.

Police successes

Police efforts to combat such crimes have been rewarded with major successes including the 2015 arrest and subsequent conviction of an “organised and sophisticated” gang of criminals who North Wales Police and Cheshire Constabulary discovered had ransacked 43 homes across North Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside and the West Midlands. The gang, who police say “were not opportunist thieves, but planned meticulously what they did”, looked for high value Asian gold and heirloom jewellery and, as the police explained, “gathered information on houses and the people they wished to target”. The gang were sentenced to a total of over 40 years in jail, but the risk of such burglaries remains very high and may even be on the increase.

A recent surge in cases?

Just last month the Plymouth Herald reported that “investigators believe a gang of burglars who targeted Asian homeowners in 2014 may have returned to the city”, and this week the Cambridgeshire Constabulary warned that “burglary specifically to target Asian families for gold jewellery has emerged again” and that criminals now seem to have begun making telephone calls to people’s homes in order to identify families of Asian origin. The Merseyside Police have suggested that a possible surge in black-market demand for Indian jewellery may be behind a new increase in targeted burglaries.

That the value and beauty of the jewellery itself is attracting burglars adds a worrying new dimension to the phenomenon. Ten years ago it was thought that Indian gold appealed to criminals because so much of it is very high quality (24k gold is commonly used) and the stratospheric worldwide rise in gold prices following the financial crisis meant that melting down even exquisite family heirloom pieces could make villains a lot of money. While it was heartbreaking for families to know that jewellery they’d passed down from generation to generation was being destroyed this way, the fact that robbers now seem to be selling it on undamaged is of little consolation.

So what can you do to protect your home, your property and your family?

The Police consistently advise a series of simple, common-sense precautions: ensuring doors and windows are locked when you go out, installing alarms, security lighting and a safe or, even better, keeping valuable jewellery and other gold in a safety deposit box. Last year the Wandsworth Guardian reported the case of a Bexleyheath grandmother “left petrified after £20k Indian gold burglary” in which thieves took less than an hour to steal all her family jewellery. Her daughter pointed out that, “They did not touch the laptop or the TV, they came purely for the gold and they have managed to find every piece. I think we have been targeted.” She claimed the family had previously looked into renting a safe deposit box but hadn’t found any available. However lack of safe-deposit facilities is much less of a problem now than it was in the past. As we explained in a previous blog post, the safety deposit industry is growing rapidly and reputable security box centres can now be found nationwide. To find a facility near you we’d suggest you check our online quote engine at (our main website) or see the Safety Deposit Association website which features a list of all SDA-affiliated safety deposit centres.

Finally, as always, we’d like to remind you that taking out insurance for the contents of your safe deposit box is the very best way of guaranteeing total peace of mind. Don’t forget, cover can be extended to include periods in which valuables are taken out of your security box (for example, jewellery you want to wear to a wedding) and our “Wear Cover” includes travel to or from the security box centre or bank, so you can enjoy using your treasured Indian jewellery safe in the knowledge that its value is protected even should the unthinkable happen.


Information taken from

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