Gold warning from police in Hertfordshire this autumn

Police officers in Herts are urging people celebrating weddings or religious festivals to help prevent jewellery theft

Police officers in Hertfordshire are urging people celebrating weddings or religious festivals to take steps to protect their "treasured" jewellery this autumn - Credit: Mayank Gehlot/Unsplash

Wearing gold in public can attract "unwanted attention" from criminals, Hertfordshire Constabulary has warned.

The force is urging people who are celebrating religious holidays or attending weddings to keep their gold discreet until they reach their venue.

A police spokesperson said the chances thieves are more likely to steal "treasured" family jewels rise when jewellery is on display, and urged families to consider using doorbell cameras or bank safety deposit boxes to deter would-be criminals.

Inspector Nicki Dean, of Hertfordshire Constabulary, 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 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.

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"If you have made a significant investment in gold and jewellery, it makes sense to take all possible precautions to protect these items."

Officers said keeping photographs of items makes it easier to trace them if they are stolen, and to bring about justice

Officers said keeping photographs of items makes it easier to trace them if they are stolen, and to bring offenders to justice (File picture) - Credit: PA

The county's police force has released a list of precautions which families can take ahead of Diwali, the five-day multi-faith festival of lights which this year takes place from Saturday, October 22 until Wednesday, October 26.

These include removing high value jewellery from houses altogether and storing it in a safe deposit box at a bank, if possible.

Offices also suggest using technology to deter or catch opportunist criminals - including using a door bell camera, internal camera, burglar alarm or timer switches to control lights, radios or TV sets.

Keys and high-value items should be kept out of sight, with doors locked when nobody is home.

Officers added taking photos of high-value items makes them easier to trace stolen items and bring thieves to justice, and using forensic markings - such as SmartWater or SelectaDNA - will make it easier to identify the ownership of high value items.

"Always take specialist advice before marking expensive or irreplaceable items," a spokesperson added.

More advice is online: https://www.herts.police.uk/protectyourhome