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'Serious stress and trauma': Are cash-for-gold shops causing burglaries?

The government is under pressure to regulate the sector.

Image: Shutterstock/Lisa Alisa

THE GOVERNMENT IS again coming under pressure to regulate the cash-for-gold sector.

South Dublin county councillor John Lahart has called for the field to be regulated following a spate of recent burglaries in the capital.

CSO figures released earlier this year showed burglaries in Dublin rose by about 20% in the 12 months to the end of March and 8% nationwide.

Lahart said the robberies are “facilitated by the booming cash-for-gold trade”.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said a number of estates in Dublin have been targeted in recent months by criminals who are “specifically looking for cash or jewellery”.

Some unfortunate residents have had their homes burgled more than once in the space of six months, causing serious stress and trauma.

“The local gardaí have told me that these criminal gangs are often leaving behind larger valuables in favour of gold jewellery because it is so easy to sell,” Lahart stated.

It’s not that straightforward 

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has been asked about regulating the cash-for-gold sector on numerous occasions in the Dáil.

Speaking in May, she said she was “examining the best approach to regulation”.

“It is important to recognise that any legislation in this area would have a potentially significant impact on a broad range of businesses. There are a large number of legitimate businesses such as jewellers, antique dealers etc, as well as cash-for-gold outlets that would be impacted upon.”

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30/6/2015 Asylum Seekers Reports Frances Fitzgerald Source: /Photocall Ireland

Fitzgerald has previously said there is no definitive link between burglaries and the cash-for-gold sector.

She noted the Department of Justice has drafted “a proposed consultation documentation setting out potential options for addressing this issue” which she will consider in the “near future”.

A report on the issue was published in 2012.

In a bid to prevent burglaries, the gardaí have advised people to ensure all doors and windows at their houses are secure, use an alarm and timer light switches when out and not keep large amounts of cash at home.

Column: Let’s stop dragging our feet – we need to regulate cash-for-gold

Read: No evidence of a link between cash-for-gold stores and high rate of burglaries

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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