Combating the rise in stolen jewellery with new ‘Gold Standard’ code of conduct


In response to the sharp rise of house burglaries involving stolen jewellery as the world gold price rises Ray Perry, Chief Executive of the National Pawnbrokers Association, has teamed up with Surrey Police and industry partners to launch ‘The Gold Standard’ a new voluntary code of conduct which will help police trace stolen jewellery if someone tries to sell or pawn it.

Accredited by the Association of Chief Police Officers, Trading Standards Institute and National Measurement Office, the national initiative features new identification, verification and best practice protocols and represents another example of the pawnbroking industry working with the Police and local communities to help solve crimes.

NPA Chief Executive, Ray Perry, said ‘This voluntary code is a great example of the pawnbroking industry working together with the Police to help prevent and combat crime. This new code of conduct will ensure greater confidence in the public to deal with National Pawnbrokers Association members and demonstrates the way in which Police and pawnbrokers can co-operate to mutual benefit.’

‘The NPA sets higher standards for its members than are required by law. This code sets a common standard for the pawnbroking trade and allows valuable police time to be spent focusing on businesses and traders that do not meet minimum standards as set by NPA members and the Gold Standard. The NPA will publish a list of registered members so customers will be able to visit our website and check if their local pawnbroker has signed up to the code. ’

Temporary Superintendent Darren McInnes from Surrey Police said ‘When the price of gold is high we can see a rise in burglaries where gold and jewellery may be targeted. The Gold Standard is a national voluntary code of conduct aiming to reduce the opportunity to sell stolen precious metal jewellery in quick, anonymous sales. If there's no market for thieves to profit from, there's no need for the crime.’

‘Surrey Police will be encouraging traders to sign up to the Gold Standard. By working with the jewellery and pawnbroking trade we will attempt to prevent them from becoming inadvertent handlers of stolen property whilst also reinforcing that should they break the law we will fully investigate and prosecute those found to be handling stolen goods.’

Minister for Crime Prevention and Antisocial Behaviour Reduction, Lord Henley, said ‘The theft of gold including jewellery can have a devastating effect on victims. I welcome the way in which the National Association of Goldsmiths, British Jewellers’ Association and National Pawnbrokers Association have worked in collaboration with Surrey police to produce the Gold Standard voluntary code of conduct.

This initiative will really help to reduce the chance of jewellers unwittingly buying or selling stolen goods, and provide greater confidence to people who want to sell items on to trusted dealers. It is a good example of what can be achieved when business and police work together to cut crime in the communities in which they operate.’