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Police warning on gold thefts ahead of Diwali

Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

The Metropolitan Police is warning Londoners to guard against gangs of thieves targeting gold jewellery during Diwali celebrations - the five day festival of light festival that begins later this week.

It says intelligence analysis has shown organised criminal networks are increasingly involved in lucrative 'family gold theft' which disproportionately affects Asian families across various hotspots across the capital.

The festival period tends to see a spike in this type of crime largely due to more gold and jewellery being worn as the local community travel across London to different venues - whether temples, streets or other people's homes.

It says that combined with the annual rise generally in burglary and robbery at this time of year as the nights draw in, it means Asian communities are particularly vulnerable to thieves keen to cash in on the buoyant market for gold being sold through second hand outlets.

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London celebrates Diwali

Revellers celebrating Diwali in 2013. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

London is celebrating Diwali with a massive free event in Trafalgar Square today.

The Hindu festival is also referred to as 'The Festival of Light'. It celebrates the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair.

They'll be an array of activities taking place including a live catwalk show, an Asian bazaar, a beauty marquee, music and dance acts, storytelling and much more.

The event runs from 2pm- 8pm.