Leicester

High gold price increases theft concern over Diwali

Shop owners and residents in Leicester are being warned about gold theft in the run-up to a major Hindu festival.

Leicestershire police said theft of gold jewellery was a problem in Leicester's Golden Mile shopping area, especially on special occasions such as Diwali festival.

Crimestoppers Leicestershire spokesman Zuffar Haq said high gold prices had made the problem even more widespread.

The Diwali festival starts on 26 October and runs until 30 October.

"As gold prices are now so high due to the economic situation, there is a huge demand for jewellery that can be sold and melted down - especially anything in Asian gold," Mr Haq said.

"We know people love to wear gold for special occasions such as Diwali, and give it as presents, but when not being worn it is safest in the bank."

Inspector Steve Riley, from Leicestershire police, said: "This type of theft becomes more serious around Diwali, when people are wearing their ornaments or keeping it in their homes.

"We are seeing an increase of crimes where people's necklaces and other jewellery are grabbed from them in the street."

Anyone wearing gold jewellery should make sure bags are securely closed and expensive jewellery should be covered up, he said.

Police advised anyone with jewellery in their homes to make sure all windows and doors are locked and jewellery, cash or valuables are kept out of sight.

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