Mobile targets

NEWHAM ranks as the second worst place in the capital for mobile phone robberies, according to a handset security specialist.

Using Met figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, ESET has forecast that Newham will have over 1,000 handset robberies this year, up by a fifth on last year, and ranking the borough second behind only Lambeth in the capital.

Thefts are expected to rise to 1,689 by the end of this year, making the borough ninth worst in the capital, and up 2 per cent on the 1,646 incidents in 2009.

Quinton Watts, security expert of ESET, warned mobile phone users to be on their guard during the festive season.

“With the Christmas party season upon us we all get a lot more sociable.

“This means that more people than ever will be hitting the pubs, leaving coats and bags on the backs of chairs.

“Others will be navigating the streets of London looking for parties and bars with their mobile phones on display while they check their surroundings.

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“This, coupled with alcohol consumption making us a little less aware of our surroundings, means Christmas is harvest time for phone thieves,” said Mr Watts.

Mr Watts warned people that robbers and thieves were targeting data held on people’s phones and warned users to back up their handsets and take measures to safeguard their information should it fall into the wrong hands.