Newham Borough Commander Tony Nash warns our mobile phones are personal so look after them

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- Credit: Archant

Around 7000 mobile phones are stolen every month across London and thefts of mobile phones account for around 70 per cent of all theft person offences.

While total crime across London continues to fall, and the figures for personal robbery in Newham are down, we would still like to reduce them further and at a faster rate.

Nowadays our mobile phones contain a huge amount of personal information, from banking details, confidential work projects to hundreds of personal photos and messages. So whilst most people wouldn’t consider phone theft to be as serious a crime as being assaulted or burgled, we do understand the frustration people feel when they realise that their phone has been lost or stolen.

Last year, Operation Ringtone - the MPS drive to reduce such crime and to raise awareness about mobile phone theft, was launched. Since then we’ve given out crime prevention advice to thousands of local residents as well as conducting regular high visibility and covert patrols in theft hotspot areas. Recently we’ve also been working on Operation Neptune, working with second hand phone shops to prevent the buying/selling of stolen phones. Retailers voluntarily sign up to the scheme, which gives them the knowledge and confidence to stay on the right side of the law, as well as protecting customers and increasing their confidence in the second hand phone market. We use all legal methods available to us to identify suspects selling stolen phones so we can limit their activity and disrupt their behaviour.

There are some simple steps that you can take to prevent yourself becoming the next victim of a mobile phone theft. Stay alert in busy environments where you might be distracted, such as cafés, bars and pubs or on public transport. If you have to have to use your phone in public, remember to be aware of who is around you. If you see anybody committing a theft or looking like they are about to, then ring 999.

You should also register your phone for free on the immobilise website. This helps the police to identify you as the owner and return your handset if it is lost or stolen. Consider installing a tracker app on your Smartphone which can help the police trace the location of a stolen phone.


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If you know of anybody stealing or handling stolen mobile phones please let us know either by ringing 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. For further crime prevention advice on how to protect your phone, contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team or visit the Crime Prevention section of met.police.uk.

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