Jewellers and pawnbrokers are running the risk of prosecution by failing to properly check second-hand items, according to members of the British Security Industry Association’s Asset and Property Marking Section, whose new guide, ‘Spotting Stolen Goods: A Guide for Jewellers and Pawnbrokers’ is published this week.
Watches, laptops, mobile phones and jewellery are among the most common items to be offered for sale, but smaller items such as these are also more likely to have been obtained through pickpocketing or burglary. By accepting these items without question, jewellers and pawnbrokers can run the risk of being charged with handling stolen goods, especially if they have not taken the proper precautions, for example, asking sellers for ID.
There are several simple steps that jewellers and pawnbrokers can take to protect themselves from these risks, and ensure the items that they’re buying are legitimate, as Geoff Knupfer, Chairman of the British Security Industry Association’s Asset and Property Marking Section, explains:
“The concept of marking valuable property to aid the identification and recovery of stolen goods has developed from its origins as a deterrent to domestic burglary to become a sophisticated crime reduction tool employed by major companies and organisations.
“Forensic property marking represents a ‘quick win’ in terms of tracing and recovering stolen property, and as such, the first thing shopkeepers can look for is any trace of a forensic property marking solution, which they can do by using basic ultraviolet (UV) equipment.”
The Asset and Property Marking Section of the BSIA – the trade body representing the UK’s private security industry – has compiled a useful guide to assist jewellers and pawnbrokers to identify stolen goods and react accordingly, highlighting the benefits of UV equipment in detecting property marking solutions.
Spotting Stolen Goods: A Guide for Jewellers and Pawnbrokers helps businesses to avoid the pitfalls of buying second-hand goods and includes advice on identifying stolen property, sourcing and using UV equipment, and what to do if their suspicion is aroused. Advice from leading industry experts The British Jewellers’ Association and SaferGems is also included.
“Following a few simple steps can help jewellers and pawnbrokers avoid running the risk of prosecution, and Asset and Property marking technology is playing an increasingly important role in protecting small businesses from these risks. Our guide aims to support business owners in understanding and reducing such risks.”
Spotting Stolen Goods: A Guide for Jewellers and Pawnbrokers can be downloaded from the BSIA’s website here: www.bsia.co.uk/web_images/publications/176-apm-jewellery-theft.pdf