Ex-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith recently raised the issue of regulation for “cash for gold” websites in the House of Commons, prompted by fears that a rise in burglaries had been caused by the increase in such sites, and the ease with which criminals can turn their booty into cold hard cash.
I recently wrote to the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department about the case of one of my constituents who was unfortunately burgled and was surprised that the burglars focused almost completely on taking jewellery and other gold.
He believes, as do I, that this may have been prompted by the burgeoning of cash-for-gold adverts on our television screens and in our newspapers, often with no identification required to obtain money in exchange for gold. My Hon Friend helpfully replied that he was carrying out a review in this area.
“May I encourage him to involve trading standards officers in that work and to consider legislation as quickly as possible, perhaps even in the Crime and Security Bill?
The matter is to be looked into by the “crime reduction minister” (no we didn’t know there was such a thing either), Alan Campbell, who expects the matter to involve trading standards and legislation, if necessary. The problems that we’ve featured on Money Watch have been with the cash for gold companies themselves (well, one in particular), rather than criminals, and interestingly, trading standards appear to have been reluctant to act in many cases. Let’s see if Jacqui Smith has better luck giving them a kick up the backsides.
photo credit: PetroleumJelliffe
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