Hertfordshire Constabulary warns of potential thieves targeting Diwali celebrations
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Hertfordshire Constabulary is warning residents celebrating Diwali to watch out for opportunistic thieves.
The police force has recorded an increase in thefts and burglaries during the Hindu festival in recent years.
This year Diwali is set to be celebrated on 12 November and the festival of light is often celebrated throughout Hertfordshire.
Specifically, the police is are warning families who may be wearing gold and jewellery as part of the celebrations.
Hertfordshire Constabulary advises residents to be discreet when wearing high value gold items in public, and also says that these items should be securely stored when kept in the home or kept somewhere else like in a safety deposit box.
Chief Inspector Dave Skarratts from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Central Intelligence Bureau said: “Some families who have large collections of valuable jewellery, and in particular high value gold, have been targeted by criminals in the past. Wearing lots of gold and jewels as you travel to weddings and religious festivals can draw unwanted attention from criminals, so we recommend keeping it hidden until you reach the venue.
“Burglars tend to target houses that are empty, particularly if they are not very well-secured. Taking basic steps to secure your home can be enough to deter many burglars. If you have made a significant investment in gold and jewellery, it makes sense to take all possible precautions to protect these items.”
The police force has provided the following guidelines to residents:
-We would advise you to remove the jewellery from your house altogether, so if you are a victim your valuable items won’t be stolen. Keep all jewellery and other valuables in a safety deposit box – speak to your bank to find out what’s available.
-Use a doorbell camera, internal camera and/or a monitored burglar alarm.
-Ensure doors are double locked at all times. Keep windows closed and locked.
-Install ‘dusk to dawn’ external lighting.
-Use timer switches in your home to control internal lights, radios and a simulated TV.
-Keep keys and valuables secure and out of sight.
-Ensure boundary fences are secure with side gates locked.
-Take photos and keep a list of all valuable property in a safe place, including make, model description and value.
-Forensically mark items of value, as a hi-tech way of linking your property to your address, options available are – Selecta DNA / Smartwater. Always take specialist advice before marking expensive or irreplaceable items.
More guidelines are listed on the police force’s website here.