Crime Prevention Advice - Jewellery Burglaries

Alert message sent 14/01/2020 10:07:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police

Keep jewellery in a safety deposit box or a secure facility away from home. If you must keep it at home use an insurance approved safe which must be securely fixed.

Review home security – Always check doors and windows are secure. Fit in an alarm which must be SSAIB or NSI approved company. Consider installing CCTV and security lighting.

Be discreet wearing jewellery in public.

Photograph and keep a detailed inventory of each item of jewellery and keep it in a separate place. Include value, date acquired, receipts, valuation certificate and any identifying marks.

Have jewellery professionally marked so that it can be easily identified – laser engraving jewellery with your name and serial number acts as a hallmark unique to you.

Use a Secured by Design approved forensic traceable liquid (e.g. SmartWater) which has a unique forensic code which is visible under UV light and is registered to you. This helps Police identify and return stolen goods.

Once marked, photograph your jewellery and register it at

Try to restrict access to the rear of your property. If you have a gate, ensue that it is in good condition and securely fixed to any walls or posts. Always ensure the gate is closed after anyone has gone through it. If it is a communal gate, ensure all users remember to close it afterwards.

Consider installing security lights to cover both the front and the rear of the property. These should be either on motion detectors (these will come on when anyone approaches the property) or dusk to dawn lights.

Consider installing CCTV.

Defensive planting is a useful deterrent and can help to protect vulnerable areas such as under windows.

Ensure that any property or equipment e.g. Ladders etc. is securely stowed and /or locked away. Try to store any waste disposal/rubbish bins away from the property as they may be used to gain access to an intermediary roof.

Ensure that the property keys are kept out of view preferably in a key cupboard.

Many companies have new tech security gadgets which allow the homeowner to monitor every corner of their property with a video door bell and stick up cameras around the house, devices have built-in microphones and speakers, so you can hear and speak to anyone on your property at any time through your phone app.

Be mindful of anybody who may be watching your property and report any suspicious activity or individuals.

Be aware that decorating your property at times of religious festivals may draw attention to the property and could potentially advertise the presence of gold and jewellery within.

Take extra care in the run-up to special occasions such as religious holidays and weddings. If it is widely known that a celebration is occurring, this may attract criminals.

There have been reports elsewhere in the past of victims being targeted due to information that offenders have gained online. We would therefore urge individuals to consider what information about them may be listed openly online and whether this could potentially leave them vulnerable to crimes of this nature. For example writing on Facebook that it’s the Party at your local community centre and you and the whole family are attending!

Take extra care during times of celebration when more valuables may be in your home.

Be mindful that you are more likely to be targeted during a celebration or a particular event e.g. a religious festival.

Do not leave your jewellery on display.

Keep the jewellery in a safe place and locked up if possible. Consider installing a safe at home which is securely fixed to the floor or a wall.

Make a list of all the jewellery including a description.

Photograph all pieces of jewellery using a ruler as a guide to size and length. Do this against a plain background.

Do Not Keep the List with the Photographs
Ensure that the jewellery is insured.

Consider registering your jewellery with a registration company such as immobilise at

Marking your jewellery – laser engraving your jewellery with your name and the Serial number acts as a hallmark unique to you. Many jewellers offer this service. Alternatively consider forensically marking your jewellery.

Always put the jewellery away after use.

Try to ensure that it does not become common knowledge that you are going on holiday at a particular time. If you are going away, consider storing your valuables in a safety deposit box.

Safety deposit boxes can be used for anything valuable, including jewellery, and are stored in a bank branch. Often they are used to store heirlooms and collections of jewellery which are handed down through families. This is a safer way to store expensive items as the boxes or lockers are kept in the bank under CCTV and behind a thick metal door. Customers are given a set of keys (either physical or electronic) and can access the contents of their boxes when they want during working hours. The contents also need to be covered by the customer’s home insurance policy.

Several high street banks are withdrawing or restricting this facility. However, many private companies are offering a similar service.

Whichever option you choose, you must make sure you tell your insurer to guarantee your property remains protected.

Be mindful of the fact that you may be targeted during those periods when you have brought the jewellery home from the safety deposit box. Extra vigilance is encouraged during these periods.

Safes and secure safe cabinets are designed for the secure storage of cash and valuables. They are graded according to their resistance to manual intervention attack tests. Domestic safes are generally graded in accordance with EN 1445 Secure Storage Units. Invest in a good quality safe, which complies with official insurance rating standards. A Home Office website lists approved security products.

The safe should be installed according to manufacturer’s instructions and all exposed fixings, the substrate into which the device is fitted and the locking mechanisms are regularly checked to ensure that they are in good condition and they have not been tampered with.

When wearing jewellery in public, be cautious and discreet to avoid attracting unwanted attention. Consider wearing a scarf or something similar to cover your neckline, and long sleeve coats to cover the wrists.

Always travel to and from your celebration in a group using well-lit streets. Try to avoid walking alone. If you drive, keep your car locked and remember where it is parked.

Getting a taxi? Use a valid taxi service or online cab checker to confirm it is licensed. You can send the registration number to a friend so that they know which car you've got in.

If you are leaving or arriving at a Safety Deposit Box property, ensure to be vigilant and always go with another family member. Secure jewellery /coins in a closed bag.

Wherever you keep your valuable items you need to make sure they are insured. Valuable items will need to be listed on your home insurance policy and be included in the ‘personal possessions’ cover. Ensure you keep original documents such as:
Purchase receipt


Certificate of authenticity

Original box

Photographs of the items

You might also wish to consider a separate insurance policy for your jewellery.
The preventative actions above whilst helpful are problematic. Valuing and insuring expensive jewellery can be prohibitively expensive (percentages of value are often charged), insurance companies are reluctant to take on risk especially as values have increased, and a perception that insurance companies may be reluctant to pay out on loss of jewellery, if ownership and value cannot be quantified. The increasing value of gold means that property may rapidly become undervalued, also resulting in insurance claims being challenged, as if valuables are under-insured the claimant may lose out if the insurer applies the 'average clause' and only pays a proportion of the claim.
The fact that safes are taken or broken in to during burglaries shows they are not a panacea.
Message sent by
Helen Daveridge (Police, Neighbourhood PC, CPT Trowbridge)

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