The Scotland Yard has cautioned Indian and people of Asian origin in London against gangs of thieves targeting jewellery during Diwali celebrations — a time when many wear traditional attires.
Intelligence analysis has shown that organised criminal networks are increasingly involved in lucrative ‘family gold theft’ which disproportionately affects Asian families across various hotspots across the capital celebrating Diwali, the Yard said.
Several Diwali celebrations have been planned across London and other towns.
Indian and Asian families have been the target of gold theft in several towns across Britain in recent years, particularly in Leicester.
The police said, “Unfortunately the festival period tends to see a spike in this type of crime largely due to more gold and jewellery being worn as the local community travel across London to different venues — whether temples, streets or other people’s homes”.
It added, “Combined with the annual rise generally in burglary and robbery at this time of year as the nights draw in this makes Asian communities particularly vulnerable to thieves keen to cash in on the buoyant market for gold being sold through second hand outlets”.
Scotland yard has stepped up its efforts to combat the problem through Operation Nugget, a dedicated, specialist team working on driving down the numbers of offences and bringing more perpetrators to justice through a series of different initiatives.