London

Valuables warning over Hindu Navratri celebrations

Police officers will be joining people taking part in the autumn festival season to help them avoid becoming targets for thieves and robbers.

On Wednesday they will be involved in a procession through Harrow, north-west London, which marks the start of the nine-day Hindu festival of Navratri.

Officers will also visit temples and venues advising residents how to stay safe during the celebrations.

Many women in Asian communities wear gold jewellery during the festivities.

Cut opportunities

The procession is due to leave the International Siddhashram Shakti Centre in Palmerston Road, Wealdstone, at 09:45 BST.

It will pass through Wealdstone High Street before finishing at Harrow Leisure Centre where a number of speeches and religious recitals, known as katha, will be given.

The Metropolitan Police said it would be offering simple crime prevention advice to cut opportunities for burglars and robbers during the festival season.

Officers with relevant language skills will be speaking to communities, including shopkeepers and restaurant owners, involved in the celebrations.

Ch Supt Dal Babu said: "Harrow is one of the UK's most diverse boroughs, with one of the largest Hindu populations in the country.

"Our Safer Neighbourhoods teams will be visiting all our temples and venues used to celebrate Navratri in order to spread crime prevention messages as wide as possible."

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