A KILKENNY TD has called for increased regulation of ‘cash for gold’ shops, which he says will be essential to curbing the nationwide increase in burglaries.
Deputy John Paul Phelan (Fine Gael) wants CCTV to be mandatory in all ‘cash for gold’ premises, as well as extra measures required of those selling gold to prove it is their property. He will be making these recommendations and others to an upcoming Oireachtas committee.
Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter today (Tuesday) published a report, which examines ‘cash for gold’ transactions having regard to relevant criminal justice considerations. All 124 cash for gold premises were visited by the Gardai in the course of the report’s compilation.
The Minister noted in the report the concerns raised by Deputy Phelan and others following numerous approaches from constituents who have been the victim of jewellery theft or were fearful from attack, particularly as the price of gold continues to rise and many local garda stations are closing.
Deputy Phelan said he would be making a number of recommendations to the Oireachtas committee as regards steps that could be taken to help protect legitimate operators and stamp out rogue traders.
“The pawn industry which grew rapidly in the last recession was regulated and anyone engaging in its service was required to provide photographic ID and at least two utility bills which proved their address,” he said.
“Also anyone entering a pawn shop knew they were being captured on CCTV. The same should apply to all ‘cash for gold’ premises.
“Anyone trading gold for cash should also be required to go to their local Garda Station and sign a declaration that they are the legitimate owner of such property being traded. Then and only then will our elderly feel safe in their homes and will the consistent, persistent growth in burglaries for jewellery be curbed,” said Deputy Phlean.
Burglaries nationwide were up by nearly 8% in 2011 compared to 2010. Over the period 2005 to 2011, burglaries increased by 4%.