The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter will shut down in the early afternoon today in a united front to prevent any further damage by rioters.

The move follows widespread looting in the Quarter last night as rioting spread from London to other cities including Birmingham.

Birmingham Assay Office chief executive and assay master Michael Allchin told Retail Week sister title Retail Jeweller that the decision was made in advance of possible further attacks.

“Everyone is understandably very concerned,” he said. “We have a duty of care towards our staff.”

He added that the jewellery hub will open for business as normal tomorrow as long as the situation remains in control overnight. While reports suggest there is currently no violence taking place in Birmingham, the Quarter is adopting prevention tactics.

Simon Rainer, chief executive of the British Jewellery Association, said: “The rumours of things happening in Birmingham are unsubstantiated. However, the Jewellery Quarter is closing down because the shops are at greater risk if they remain open, than they are shut with everything in the safe. Police will be patrolling the Quarter from 2pm and there will be mobile units as well, but there is no hard
evidence of anything happening at the moment.”