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Shropshire Shops Sign-Up to Police Gold Standard Scheme

November 14, 2012, 5:35 pm

More than 30 shops across Shropshire have signed up to a new police scheme aimed at preventing burglars selling off stolen gold and silver jewellery.

The scheme, called The Gold Standard, was launched last month, as the latest move in Citadel, the West Mercia Police initiative which targets house burglars.

It encourages jewellers, goldsmiths and pawnbrokers to sign up to a protocol making it more difficult for criminals to dispose of their ill-gotten gains.

Inspector Edward Hancox, the scheme’s organiser, said he was delighted with the response from retailers.

“Police and community support officers from our Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been canvassing businesses dealing in gold, silver and other jewellery and there has been a really encouraging response.

“Over 30 retailers have now signed up and we will continue to contact and recruit all relevant businesses.”

The Gold Standard code is being run by the police in partnership with Shropshire Trading Standards and the British Jewellers Association.

Inspector Hancox said: “It’s pleasing to receive such a good response as it will ultimately help protect the public from becoming burglary victims.  If there’s no market for thieves to profit from, there’s no need for the crime”.

“When the price of gold is high we see a rise in burglaries where gold and jewellery are targeted.  The Gold Standard is a national voluntary code of conduct to reduce the opportunity to sell stolen precious metal jewellery in quick, anonymous sales”.

He added: “By working with the jewellery and pawnbroking trade, we will help prevent them becoming inadvertent handlers of stolen property while reinforcing that should they break the law, we will fully investigate and prosecute those handling stolen goods.”

Scheme members are linked to the Neighbourhood Watch messaging system, quickly receiving details about any stolen jewellery to lookout for. Shropshire Trading Standards has already carried out weights and measures checks on various jewellery retailers conducting “test selling” to ensure the Gold Standard code is being complied with.

Under the code, retailers are asked to obtain a name and address from every customer;  verify customers’ identity, if possible, by photographic identity; only purchase from over 18s;  capture transactions on CCTV and retain footage for 31 days; keep transaction, customer and photographic details for three months;  produce information to police if required; take every precaution to ensure property is not stolen, e.g. use UV lamps; and if goods are suspect, discontinue the transaction and call police.

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