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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Crackdown on mobile phone thefts

Many mobile phone thefts are by children on children
Mobile phone-shaped leaflets are to help in the fight against handset thefts.

Schoolchildren in particular will be targeted by the Home Office initiative.

Robberies by children on children are keeping crime statistics high, according to Home Office minister John Denham.

Mobile phones thefts
Avoid using your phone in public, says leaflet

In the West Midlands alone between April 2000 and March 2001, one in 10 of all robberies involved mobile phones.

In Birmingham, Westminster, Bristol, and Stockport, four in 10 personal robberies involved mobile phones.

The Metropolitan Police reported a fourfold increase in personal robberies involving mobile phones between 1998-99 and 2000-01.

Mr Denham said: "Although crime has been falling, one area which remains stubbornly and unacceptably high is street crime and robbery.

"A major factor behind this is the theft of mobile phones with many crimes committed by children on children as they leave schools.

Security measures

He said this leaflet campaign was to help raise awareness.

"We will continue to work with the industry on further measures to prevent this major cause of street robbery," he said.

The leaflets suggest owners use a security lock or PIN number, security mark the battery and phone with a postcode, register with an operator and try to avoid using the phone in public.

A spokesman for the Mobile Phone Industry Crime Action Forum (MICAF) said the industry supported the fight against phone crime and backed the crime awareness and prevention initiatives.

The leaflets will be available from mobile phone shops and police in England and Wales.

See also:

10 Jan 01 | UK
Foiling the phone thieves
11 Feb 00 | Education
Pupils fined for ringing phones
09 Mar 00 | Education
Bullies use mobile phone threats
07 Jun 00 | Education
Police put mobiles on school register
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