POLICE in Wokingham are stepping-up crime prevention around the time of Diwali, after several gold jewellery burglaries happened in one day.

Last Thursday (November 8) Asian gold was stolen from three locations in Earley and officers believe that gold jewellery is being specifically targeted.

Sgt Christina Berenger, local CID at Loddon Valley police station, said: "Diwali is a time of celebration, and as such households are identified as being part of the Asian community.

"Burglars are targeting Asian households, and looking in lofts, dirty washing, pianos, toilet cisterns and other obscure places. Basically it seems nowhere is a safe hiding place, and jewellery must be kept in a safe, ideally away from the home." Romy Freiburghaus, crime prevention and reduction officer for Wokingham, said that ideally people should not keep high value gold at home, but added: "However, we understand that it may not always be possible to deposit it in banks or that some families may not wish to leave their valuables in someone else's possession.

"In such circumstances therefore, we are strongly advising people to invest in a safe, which must comply with certain standards and be approved by your home insurer. Without this, you may lose out on thousands of pounds if you are burgled." If anyone sees anything suspicious in the Wokingham area, such as cold callers or unfamiliar vehicles, call 101.

The police has also offered the following advice: �Fit a safe which complies with the official insurance ratings standards.

�Regularly review home insurance cover.

�Keep an inventory of your jewellery.

�Photograph your jewellery.

�Make sure your home is kept secure at all times - windows/door locks, timers that switch lights on when going out.

�Set your alarm, if you have one.

�As with other valuables, do not leave jewellery on display �Use forensic marking to identify your jewellery.