A PUBLIC meeting has been called after a spate of thefts of Asian heritage jewellery.

Victims have lost thousands of pounds worth of gold from their homes in Blackburn. It comes on the back of five incidents over the weekend which saw homes in Audley Range raided with jewellery worth thousands of pounds stolen.

Now worried residents in the Asian community have teamed up with Blackburn with Darwen Council to set up a meeting to discuss concerns with police.

Yusuf Patel, of Windsor Close, said he lost about £8,000 worth of gold and jewellery in a theft at his home last month.

Mr Patel, who owns a web design firm, said: “Last month I was burgled and they stole £7,000 to £8,000 worth of gold. Along with other people in the community we raised concerns with local councillor Salim Sidat and he decided to liaise with me and organise a meeting.

“The thefts are a big problem and this is a call for action.

“There is a lot of negativity about the police and the council and people say they are not doing enough. This is a chance for them to tell us what they are doing and we want plenty of local people to come and voice concerns.”

Coun Sidat said the meeting was a chance for the police to reassure concerned residents.

He said: “We have a lot of residents who are worried. We have got two of the local police inspectors coming and I am hoping council leader Kate Hollern and the deputy police and crime commissioner Ibby Master will be there, too. We want to reassure people that everything that can be done is being done. The police are trying to get to the bottom of it.

“What I would say is that people should not have that amount of gold and jewellery in their homes. People have had £10,000 worth of stuff in their house and they should really put it in the bank.”

The meeting is next Tuesday at 6pm and all residents have been invited.