GOLD robberies are on the increase in Southall, with steps now being taken to combat the rise in thefts.
Ealing Council has teamed up with borough police and jewellers for the scheme, aimed at protecting traders and customers.
Jewellery Watch will create a network of businesses in Southall, all operating to a set of guidelines such as only selling hallmarked gold and maintaining close links with the authorities.
Andy Rowell, borough commander for Ealing said: "With the price of gold at an all time high, and in the run up to Diwali, this initiative will really help to increase community confidence and reduce crime.
"Being part of this scheme will enable jewellers to communicate better among themselves and with us, while creating a forum where we can work together to tackle any problems they might be facing."
One of the most high profile incidents was on October 4, when a masked man wielding a hammer attempted a smash and grab raid at Ramesh Jewellers, a family-owned business in Southall High Street.
Naveen Kumar, who co-owns the store said: "It happened at about noon. The man was wearing a balaclava and smashed in the windows before attempting to grab something. We've been here for more than 40 years and that's the first time anything like that has happened."
"We have our own security inside the store who chased the man up The Broadway. Luckily police were in the area at the time and the man was arrested along with what appeared to be accomplices waiting in a getaway vehicle."
Mr Kumar said he believes the rise in thefts is a result of the August riots, when people felt it was easy to steal property without fear of reprisal, along with rising unemployment.
Ranjit Dheer, deputy council leader, said: "We are urging everyone to keep themselves safe this autumn and be careful when wearing jewellery, particularly valuable gold items, out in public. During the next few months Southall businesses will sell hundreds of gifts and party wear jewellery every day.
"The Jewellery Watch scheme will help businesses get crime prevention advice out to their customers in a bid to help them keep their purchases safe."
For more information about Jewellery Watch, contact Inspector Julian Houlton on 020 8246 2057 * A 17-year-old boy has been charged with attempted robbery and detained in custody following an incident in Southall on October 4. Two other men, both aged 20, were arrested and have been bailed to reappear at court in late November.