Ruth Mitchell

‘Cash for gold’ ads boosting crime

The rise in the number of “cash for gold” adverts has led to burglars targeting victims’ jewellery, former home secretary Jacqui Smith has warned.

In many cases no identification was required for people to sell gold to traders, she told MPs.

Crime reduction minister Alan Campbell said new laws would be passed to regulate the industry if necessary.

At Commons question time Ms Smith said one of her Redditch constituents had been raided and was surprised that the burglars focused “almost completely” on taking gold.

She continued: “He believes, as do I, that this may have been prompted by the burgeoning of cash for gold adverts we are seeing on our TV screens and in our newspapers, where quite often no identification is required in order to get money in exchange for gold.”

She said a review into the problem should be carried out involving trading standards officers.

Ministers should look at new legislation “as quickly as possible” possibly using the Crime and Security Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Mr Campbell told her: “We are concerned about burglary, particularly in these difficult economic times.

“We are looking at this particular issue, we would envisage involving trading standards, hard-working though they are and if legislation is necessary then we will legislate.”

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