MET ads warn of increased mobile mugging risks

Alex Walls
January 15, 2013

If you were lucky enough to receive a mint new piece of gadgetry for Christmas, maybe keep it under wraps after unwrapping (I’m here all week, try the veal).

A new ad campaign by the Metropolitan Police, timed to coincide with what has proven in the past to be a rise in crime figures,  underlines the importance of taking steps to protect, among other valuables, mobile phones, the Met said.

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) stats for mobile phone crime showed an increase in the month of January compared with December, the Met said; in December 2010 reported figures were 8,078 with a rise to 8,613 reported cases in January 2011.

December 2012’s figures are higher, at 9,751 mobile phone crime offences, the Met said, continuing the trend.

The Met said phones are the most common item stolen, making up on average 70% of items taken in personal robberies and iPhone accounted for about half of all phones stolen.  Between April and September last year, 28,800 iPhones, out of a total of 56,680 mobiles were reported stolen in London, the Met said, equating to 70 iPhones, and 157 phones of all types being stolen on average per day.  Phone

The most common profile for victims was a young professional likely to be between 20 and 30 years old, out in London at entertainment venues or other public places, it said.

MPS territorial policing crime lead Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Letchford said the campaign aimed to make people think differently, and that having personal possessions on show gave robbers a chance to make easy money.

“Just being conscious of where you are and being careful about when you display your valuables can help you avoid being targeted. Don’t let yourself become a victim and ruin the start of your 2013.”

Between April and September, 2012, 28,800 iPhones alone (out of a total number of 56,680 mobiles) were reported stolen in London – this equates to 157 phones of all types being stolen per day, and 79 iPhones specifically being stolen on average per day.

There are a number of security apps available which allow remote tracking, locking and wiping if necessary, although tracking your phone yourself may not be the best plan unless you have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and happen to be Gandalf.

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