Anger as shop shuts after police lost jewellery
‘We couldn’t keep it open any longer because we had no money left’
An angry mum has been forced to close her jewellery shop after police officers admitted losing £38,000 of gold they seized as evidence.
Jill Archer, 54, had run the Gold Mine store in the lower High Street for 12 years but shut it for good earlier this month.
Officers took the tray of gold from her now-defunct Sittingbourne shop in 2013 in connection with an alleged theft, but later admitted losing the jewellery.
Mrs Archer said: “I tried to keep it open as long as I could, but we have had to shut the Ashford shop now.
“We have also had to sell our house, and I had an MRI scan last Christmas and it showed lots of bleeds on my brain, which is all because of the stress of what has happened.
“We want our money back and more needs to be done.”
Mrs Archer, who lives in Park Farm with her husband Fred and their teenage daughter, fears the stress of trying to get her money back has caused her to have a mini-stroke.
She said: “I am not well at all and it has not been an easy time.
“I used to play netball three times a week and go swimming, but now I can’t use my right hand or leg any more.
“We couldn’t keep the Ashford shop open any longer because we had no money left.
“We have lost the shops in Ashford and Sittingbourne now.”
Kent Police spokesman Scarlet Jones says the force has admitted losing the gold.
She said: “As previously stated, we investigated this complaint and have taken full responsibility for the loss of Mrs Archer’s property from our Sittingbourne property store.
“Compensation will be paid to Mrs Archer when valid documentation confirming the value of the items lost is provided. This is required for all claims when financial settlements are concerned.”
Mrs Archer says she has provided the documentation “several times”.
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, Unit 4, Park Mall Shopping Centre Ashford, TN24 8RY or email kentishexpress@thekmgroup. co.uk
Jill Archer at Gold Mine Jewellers in Ashford in 2015 and, below, with husband Fred outside the shop as it is today