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Crimes: Mobile phone thefts almost 250 a day in London 2022 –Met Police

Mobile Phones

*The London Mayor and Met Commissioner have urged mobile phone firms to help in reducing increasing thefts after the Police data revealed that every six minutes, a mobile phone was stolen in London last year

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Against the backdrop of the recent increasing cases of mobile phone thefts on the city, the London Met Police revealed that 90,864 phones were stolen with an estimate of almost 250 a day 2022.

ConsumerConnect learnt the relevant authorities in the United Kingdom (UK) urged phone firms to help in the reduction of thefts after Police data revealed that every six minutes, a mobile phone was stolen in London last year.

The Met Police revealed that in 2022, 90,864 phones were stolen with an estimate of almost 250 a day, BBC report said.

The London Mayor and Met Commissioner have urged mobile industry bosses to “design out” incentives to steal them, report noted.

Mobile UK, representing UK networks, said measures were in place to “combat” theft.

Leading phone makers Apple and Samsung have been asked to comment.

In an open letter, Mayor Sadiq Khan and Met chief Sir Mark Rowley said software designers must “develop solutions to make this crime less rewarding”.

The regulators also asked the mobile phone providers to work with City Hall and Police as new figures showed that mobile phone crime is driving the rise in robberies and thefts in the capital with 38 percent of all personal robberies last year involving a phone being stolen.

Staggering mobile phone theft stats in London: Report

It was learnt the statistics also indicated almost 70 percent of all thefts in London in the last year were related to mobile phones.

However, in the past years, car manufacturers had worked with Police to substantially reduce the thefts of car radios and sat navs by integrating them into vehicle dashboards, according to report.

Commenting on the latest data, Sir Mark said: “The current practice of allowing stolen mobiles to be re-registered by new users within the phone industry inadvertently, enables a criminal market which drives robbery, thefts, and violent offending in London.

“We’ve been really clear there are root causes of violence we cannot tackle alone.

“We need partners to step up to the plate and work alongside us to break this cycle of violence.”

However, technology expert Jake Moore expressed skepticism of what Mayor Khan and Sir Mark’s have called for, in view of the vast volume of mobile phones circulating in the UK.

Moore opined “it would cause a potential nightmare, and you could find people accused of owning a stolen phone when it’s actually theirs. Proving legitimate purchases, especially from second-hand websites that many people use, would be challenging.

“I can’t see any company enforcing this. It just escalates into a bigger problem.”

But Khan said: “The spiraling cost of living threatens to exacerbate the drivers of violence and robberies, which we know disproportionately impact young people.”

According to the London Mayor, it was “simply too easy and profitable for criminals right now to repurpose and sell on stolen phones.”

What Telco industry firms say on development

In their remark on the development, Mobile UK was quoted to have said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with the Met, the mayor’s office, device manufacturers, and the wider industry to continue to reduce this crime further.”

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