Warning to jewellery owners after gold prices spike in pandemic

Burglar using a crowbar to break into a house at night (stock image) Picture: MAUDIB/GETTY IMAGES/I

Burglar using a crowbar to break into a house at night (stock image) Picture: MAUDIB/GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Jewellery owners are being urged to keep their valuables and precious metals secure from thieves after the price of gold spiked "significantly" during the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest crime figures have revealed jewellery was the second most-targeted item in household burglaries in England and Wales, making up almost a third of thefts, in the year up to March 2020.

The rise in break-ins comes as the price of gold reached an all-time high price of £1,527 per ounce in August, with the value of other metals such as silver and platinum rising.

Suffolk Constabulary reported 2,236 burglaries in the year up to March 2020, with Essex Police recording 7,497 break-ins.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales, which reported the figures, also revealed the average cost of stolen items in a burglary was £2,856.


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George Greenock, of East Anglia-based insurance firm Lycetts, urged jewellery owners to ensure they are aware of the value of their precious metals and that they are insured in case of a theft.

George Greenock, insurance broker at Lycetts

George Greenock, insurance broker at Lycetts - Credit: Lycetts

He said: "The price of gold has been steadily rising in recent years and its value spiked significantly during the coronavirus pandemic, with an all-time price high being reached in the summer.

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"Prices of other precious metals, including silver, have also risen sharply since the start of this year.

"There are a lot of influencing factors when it comes to the price of gold, such as trade imbalances, global inflation, and real interest rates, but the bottom line is that prices fluctuate and can do so at a rapid rate.

"Homeowners may be blissfully unaware that the value of their jewellery has increased over recent months – but they could suffer significant financial loss, or even a rejected claim, if these items are stolen."

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman added: "Residents should keep doors and windows secured, even when indoors, and always remember to close all windows before leaving the house.

"Using timer switches can make your home look lived in if you are out, and installing a visible burglar alarm, video doorbell and outdoor lights will make burglars think twice.

"Make sure all valuables are kept out of sight and if possible, keep jewellery, cash, passports and deeds to your property in a safe."

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