Police use Flickr to reunite owners with �500k of valuables

Police are using website Flickr to publish pictures of rare stolen goods totalling �500,000 in a bid to reunite them with owners.

The initiative was thought up after Tower Hamlets Crime Squad seized more than 400 items – many of them valuable pieces of jewellery and antiques – in raids across the East End and Essex over the summer.

The property may have been stolen as far back as 1994.

Many recovered watches are highly collectable and police believe they would be easily identifiable to owners.

Along with the Flickr site, letters have been sent to victims of crime who have reported their jewellery stolen.

The concept has been successfully used in other London boroughs.

Det Sgt Richard George said: “Using Flickr works and this has already proved to be the case in Camden and Lewisham. We hope that victims will look through the images and recognise their property.”

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More than 100 images have been uploaded to Flickr page “Tower Hamlets - Operation Avitus” so far and more are to go up.

Potential owners will have to provide proof of ownership, photographs showing the item or insurance claims.

Call 0208 217 3743 or email opavitus@met.police.uk if you have seen your property.