'Thieves beware' Police target handling of stolen goods

A new Kent Police campaign targeting people who handle stolen goods has been launched in Gravesend and Dartford.

Officers hope their Thieves Beware initiative will get people to think twice when they see high-value goods privately sold at cut prices - and realise they are likely to be stolen.

Expensive items such as laptops, LED and LCD televisions, iPads, jewellery and electrical equipment are attractive to burglars but are often sold on by fences - individuals who knowingly buy stolen property to re-sell.

The offence of handling stolen goods, which means taking them on and arranging for their distribution while knowing or believing them to be stolen, carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.

We know that with many people across the county on tighter budgets, the temptation to pick up a bargain might be higher than usual, but anything you knowingly buy from someone handling stolen goods is at the expense of someone else.

Burglary is an intrusive crime that leaves victims traumatised and shaken, and every item purchased from a fence is keeping burglars in business - and you or your loved ones could be their next victim.

– Insp Simon Hollingsworth