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Thursday, 8 November, 2001, 17:26 GMT
Pupils warned over mobile phone theft
mobile users at school
Many school children now own mobile phones
Pupils in London are being given advice on how to keep hold of their mobile phones in response to a continued rise in phone thefts.

The Lokit, Mrkit, Kepit, UsitDntLosit (Lock it, Mark it, Keep it, Use it Don't lose it) initiative will see posters - using mobile phone text language - distributed across the capital's schools, encouraging youngsters to be more cautious when using their mobile phones.

anti-mobile phone theft poster
Posters aimed at bringing home the message will be displayed around London's schools
School liaison officers will visit all secondary schools to property mark phones and to offer advice on how pupils can prevent their phones being used if they are stolen.

Pupils will be encouraged to take a note of their IMEI number (serial number), which is unique to each phone.

If the phone is subsequently stolen, this number can be used by police to prove the theft and return it to the rightful owner.

Street robberies

The Metropolitan police says a mobile is stolen in half of all street robberies in London.

And figures indicate that youngsters in the 14 to 17 age bracket are the most vulnerable when it comes to mobile phone crime.


Be aware of who is around, especially on busy streets and outside train and underground stations

Superintendent Torrance
So far this year, the Met has arrested 20% more street robbers compared with last year.

Research carried out by the NOP Research Group in January suggested nearly 50% of all children in the UK aged between seven and 16 owned mobile phones.

The survey found 52% of girls and 44% of boys had their own mobile.

Victims

Superintendent Archie Torrance of Westminster Police said: "We are aiming this campaign at schoolchildren and young people who are often the victims of street robberies involving mobile phones."

"We are urging them to be cautious when using their phones in the street, be aware of who is around, especially on busy streets and outside train and underground stations," he said.

"We continue to work to combine high visibility policing with covert operations so we can bring criminals to justice," he added.

The IMEI number is displayed by pressing star, hash, zero, six, hash (*#06#).

See also:

24 May 01 | Health
Text message warning
10 May 00 | Health
Child mobile phone warning
11 May 00 | Health
Mobile phone research ordered
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