West Midlands Police Urge People To Be Vigilant
Police are warning of a predicted rise in Asian gold street robberies as the weather heats up and more people head out with expensive jewellery on show.
The warmer temperatures are expected to contribute to a rise in offences, with necklaces and bangles more visible, rather than being hidden away under heavy coats and scarves.
And with the Asian wedding season upon us and a higher attendance at mosques for Ramadan ahead of Eid, officers are stressing the importance of wearing jewellery discreetly.
The anticipated rise comes against a backdrop of a reduction in offences and several tactics are being used, such as targeted patrols, undercover operations and the robust management of known offenders, to prevent any increase.
Meanwhile, local neighbourhood teams are working in their areas to issue crime prevention advice to members of the Asian community − specifically women, who are often targeted.
Leaflets are being distributed in English, Punjabi and Urdu to ensure the warning gets out to as many vulnerable people as possible, in the best possible way.
Officers from the Soho area of Birmingham, historically an Asian gold robbery hotspot, also star in a new video as part of the campaign on the force’s YouTube channel.
Other areas that have previously seen increases Asian gold street robbery include the Southside, Lozells, East Handsworth, Springfield and Sparkbrook areas of the city.
West Bromwich town centre and the Blakenhall area of Wolverhampton have also previously seen spikes in robberies of this type.
Superintendent Paul Drover, the force lead for tackling Asian gold theft, said: “We want people to think twice about openly wearing valuable and irreplaceable jewellery that can easily be snatched and stolen by opportunistic thieves.
“There are people out there who are on the lookout for soft targets and the easier it is for them to be able to get their hands on your jewellery, sadly, the more likely they are to take the chance and steal it.
“But you can reduce this risk by keeping jewellery out of sight − by being discreet and perhaps thinking about storing those items securely at home in a safe, or in a safety deposit box at your bank instead.
“We’re doing all we can to stop Asian gold thieves in their tracks and with data from previous years suggesting this anticipated rise, we’ll be putting a range of plans in place to try and stop the same thing happening again this summer.”