Be very aware of mobile phone theft
Mobile phone theft appears to be on the increase, with recent reports of high numbers reported stolen in the North London areas of Camden and Islington. As smartphones become smaller, more awesome and generally more expensive, the rise in mobile phone theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the UK. As appealing as these devices are to consumers, they’re just as irresistible to thieves, and are remarkably easy to steal.
Keep your phone safe when in public
Always use common sense when your phone isn’t in use; keep it stored in a zipped handbag, or in the front pocket of your trousers. Don’t keep it in your rear jeans pocket, or on display in an open bag.
Be aware when walking along with your phone in your hand. Pay particular attention when walking the dog, if you’re holding your dog’s leash in one hand and the phone in the other hand, it’s very easy for someone running or cycling past to grab the mobile from your hand. If it is essential to use your mobile, do so in a well-lit, busy place, with other people around you. When you’ve finished your call, place it immediately back into your pocket or bag. Be very aware at train stations and bus stops, as these are noted as theft hotspots. A recent occurrence at East Finchley station was recorded in broad daylight.
Listening to music on your phone, especially when using ear-phones, makes you easily distracted and unable to hear anyone approaching you from behind. This makes you a much easier target.
If you’re travelling in your car, never leave your phone on display when you leave the vehicle, even if the car is locked. Put it safely into the glovebox and make sure it’s never in full view of passers-by.
If your phone is stolen
- Report the theft immediately to your local police station. They will need to know the make and model, and the phones IMEI, identification number (so ensure you have taken note of this when you first purchase your mobile).
- Ask the police for the crime reference number, which you will need if you plan to make an insurance claim.
- Contact your network provider to report the theft, as they can place a block on any future calls made from your phone.
- If you have installed an App on your phone to locate your missing mobile, use it. Similarly, there are Apps you can install that will remotely lock or wipe data from your phone should it be stolen.
Mobile phones are a huge part of everyday life, and have become as much a fashion statement as a useful piece of technology, with some models costing upwards of around £500. These high priced models make them a target for opportunist thieves, so make sure that you stay safe and protect your mobile phone at all times. Don’t be an easy target!