The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley are calling on the mobile phone industry to improve their technology to help reduce theft of phones and stop the ease by which stolen phones are traded.
In a visit to Ealing, The Mayor said: “It’s simply too easy and profitable for criminals right now to repurpose and sell on stolen phones. That’s why, alongside strengthening neighbourhood policing and record investment in supporting the police to go after the worst offenders the Commissioner and I are calling on the mobile phone industry to work with us and play their part in reducing robberies and thefts involving mobile phones.”
The call to action comes as the Met is targeting hotspots of robbery and thefts across London with neighbourhood policing being increased in high streets and local communities as part of the New Met for London plan.
Met commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley added: “The current practice of allowing stolen mobiles to be re-registered by new users within the phone industry inadvertently enables a criminal market which drives, robbery, thefts and violent offending in London. We need partners to step up to the plate and work alongside us to break this cycle of violence fuelled by the ability of mobile phones to be re-purposed and sold on in this way.
“Our work to drive down violence in all its forms across London continues. We’re building the strongest neighbourhood policing offer we’ve ever had, using data and technology to target hotspots, and arresting those handling stolen devices wherever and whenever we can.
Claire Waxman OBE, London’s Independent Victims’ Commissioner, said: “Every robbery and theft is traumatic and the impact on the victim goes far beyond the loss of a personal possession – it heightens the fear of crime and how people feel going about their daily lives. Phones are also a form of safety for people because they know they can contact their family, loved ones and emergency services if they need to. Taking someone’s mobile phone robs them of that security. That’s why I welcome the proactive and intelligence led approach by the Met and Mayor of London to put more police in areas where communities need them most and go after the worst offenders so we can all feel and be safer.
Ms Waxman added: “Today our lives are on our phones – from our family photos, online banking, travelcards, wallet and emails. And it’s just far too straightforward for thieves to sell them on quickly for a profit. We need a long-term solution to the menace of mobile phone crime and the industry have a unique role and opportunity now to work with us to develop innovative deterrents that can prevent more people falling victim to this awful crime.”