Families within the Asian community worried about a spate of gold thefts in Bradford will be invited to meet with West Yorkshire’s new police commissioner to discuss their worries after he committed to tackling the problem locally and catching those responsible for helping families threatened at gunpoint for their gold.
As the Telegraph & Argus reported on Thursday, detectives have enlisted the help of jewellers, pawn-brokers and gold dealers in their battle against violent jewellery robbers.
And the move is being backed by a pawnbroker who was victim of a terrifying gunpoint raid.
The police set up Operation Scaldlock last month after six raids in t a period of 12 days.
Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has now become involved, saying he has discussed the issue and ways of tackling it with West Yorkshire Temporary Chief Constable John Parkinson.
Mr Burns-Williamson said: “Asian families are particularly vulnerable to this type of crime and the loss of items that have been in the family for generations causes enormous distress.
“I will be talking to members of the Asian community about these distressing crimes and looking at practical ways to deal with the issue. I have already met with the Temporary Chief Constable and Councillor Imran Hussain, the deputy Leader of Bradford Council, in his role as chairman of the Community Safety Partnership about this.
“I want to give reassurance from my perspective that the police are very much aware of this and are taking steps to identify the perpretrators and some arrests have been made.
“I know the Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been very active in talking to residents and we are just trying to build up as much intelligence as possible.”
The voluntary code of conduct, the Gold Standard, is for traders to sign up to. It will tighten security measures at pawn-brokers, gold traders and jewellers' shops to restrict the opportunity to sell stolen jewellery on.
One of the pawnbrokers keen to get involved is Cash For Gold in James Street, Bradford.
Manager Amanda Ryan said it meant the staff knew to turn away anyone trying to sell them on, and contact the police.
Miss Ryan was a victim of a gunpoint robbery in November, when she was forced to hand over £3,000 after a masked man pointed what appeared to be a gun in a carrier bag at her.