What is Handling Stolen Goods?
'Handling Stolen Goods' is the name of a statutory offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It takes place after a theft or other dishonest acquisition is completed and may be committed by a 'fence' or other person who helps the thief to realise the value of the stolen goods.
The handling of stolen goods helps burglars to continue to commit their crimes. It can attract the same penalty as burglary and carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 14 years.
What is the purpose of this campaign?
Hertfordshire is a very safe county, but unfortunately burglaries still happen - and we are committed to reducing that.
If you're offered cheap items which seem too good to be true, it could mean that they're stolen goods. It may be a bargain to the person buying them - but to the victim, it's stolen memories and it continues their trauma.
This campaign seeks to raise awareness of this crime type and encourage the public to speak up.
Ann Scott, Campaigns Manager, said: “Being burgled is not just about losing possessions, it also robs you of feeling safe at home. People should be able to feel secure and confident in their own homes.
"Removing the market for stolen goods removes the incentive for the burglar to commit offences in the first place. Burglars rarely give a second thought to the suffering they cause to others, and we would ask the public to help us beat them by providing any information they can”.
How you can you help?
No one has anything to fear by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously with this sort of information. We never ask for your name or take any personal information. Calls are not recorded and we cannot trace calls or IP addresses. Those who give information do not have to give a statement to police or go to court. Crimestoppers has never broken its promise of anonymity.
It really is quick, safe, and easy. You could even be eligible to claim a reward of up to £1,000 for your information.
You can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 - or fill in our secure online form.
What type of property is most likely to be stolen?
- Watches (particularly designer items)
- Jewellery made from precious metals
- Jewellery containing semi-precious or precious stones
- Mobile phones and tablet devices
- Laptop and Netbook computers
What should you do if offered goods you believe are stolen?
If you have any suspicions that an item you’re offered might be stolen, the key thing is to not to accept it. If there is any doubt at all, refuse to handle the item(s) and phone Hertfordshire Police on 101. If you do not wish to speak with the police, then you can contact us anonymously on 0800 555 111 or fill in our secure online form here on our website.
We would also like information on anyone you know who may be handling stolen goods on a regular basis.
Follow the conversation on Twitter: #StolenGoods