08/01/2002

Mobile phone thefts on the rise

A study published by the Home Office has revealed that thefts of mobile phones in mainland Britain have doubled in the last year.

The research suggested more than 700,000 mobile phones were snatched last year which is more than double the 330,000 figure officially recorded by police.

Those targeted most by thieves were schoolchildren who are at least five times more likely to be targeted by mobile phone thieves than adults.

While the overall robbery rates are up 13 per cent, the proportion of those involving mobiles has risen from eight per cent three years ago to 28 per cent last year.

The Home Office has spent a year trying to persuade mobile phone industry to install equipment which allows stolen mobiles to be immobilised.

In addition the government also wants phone companies to introduce measures which will allow accounts to be cut off when customers pass on the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number of stolen handsets. (MB)

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