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Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Police put mobiles on school register
Phone
Mobile phone thefts from school children are on the increase
Police want school children to register their mobile phones with them, in an attempt to stop a wave of phone thefts.

Police in Camden in north London are to launch a scheme next week in which pupils will be invited to register their mobiles in a database showing who owns which phone.


It's almost become part of school culture, a survival of the fittest attitude.

Sergeant Andy Mortimer
Phone thefts are running at an average of seven a day in the borough, an increase which the police say has been sparked by the surge in mobile phone ownership among school children.

The typical victims of phone thefts are aged between 11 and 14, says Sergeant Andy Mortimer.

He says many more phone robberies are going unreported.

"It's almost become part of school culture, a survival of the fittest attitude.

"We're working in partnership with schools to try and break that cycle. We're saying that it's not just bullying - it's crime."

Suspected phone robbers

Sergeant Mortimer says the victims might know the identities of robbers, who could be older pupils or pupils who have been excluded from school.

Setting up a scheme for identifying ownership will help the police when they detain suspected phone robbers - and will help the return of stolen phones, particularly otherwise unidentifiable pre-pay phones.

Inspector Mike McNally says phones will be given an identifying number, which will be placed on the phone with an invisible marker.

Police officers, who are meeting local head teachers next week, will carry out the registering and marking of phones in the schools, using ultra-violet markers.

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See also:

11 Feb 00 | Education
Pupils fined for ringing phones
09 Mar 00 | Education
Bullies use mobile phone threats
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