Did you know that, since 2012, 14% of theft/snatch crimes in London are by suspects on bikes? Mobile theft in our area is a serious issue.
This 30-second video released by the Met Police shows how shockingly fast a street snatch by a criminal on a bike can happen.
Follow this handy advice from the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit to protect your phone and yourself;
Take particular care of your phone at bars, cafes, coffee-shops, restaurants and music venues - thieves have targeted these venues.If using your phone in public, stay alert and be aware of what's going on around you.If you're making a call on your mobile in a public area, make sure you always keep an eye on what's going on around you.
Thieves go to great lengths to get their hands on the latest handsets, so keep your wits about you. You should also try to avoid using your mobile phone in public at night. If you do have to use your phone, try to find an area that's well-lit. Avoid getting your phone out at train stations and bus stops as these are areas that thieves target. Never reply to spam messages you may receive over SMS or Bluetooth, even to text.
Consider installing a tracker application on your smartphone, it could help trace your device if stolen. If you are unsure which to install seek advice from the manufacturer of your smartphone. If your device is stolen, act quickly - inform the Police and tell them you have a tracker app installed. If your phone is stolen, report it to Police and your network. Ensure you have the IMEI number available for the Police. Your network will provide this free of charge. Thieves often target products, gadgets that many of us own such as MP3 players, laptops, tablets, sat-navs and mobile phones. In effect any technology that becomes popular becomes hot.
These products are often described as C.R.A.V.E.D (concealable, removable, available, enjoyable and disposable). Mobile phones fit this category, so what happens after your phone has been stolen? The thief endeavours to turn it into cash. These will include attempts to sell to second-hand shops, market-stalls, via internet auction sites, on-line classified adverts and to recycling companies. Criminals also export phones stolen in the UK for sale abroad. When a lost or stolen phone is reported by its owner to their network, this phone is blocked and will not work in the UK. These phones may work abroad.
Developing markets are predominately prepay, as opposed to the more popular contract based market in the UK where the cost of a handset is kept low. The demand for handsets in developing countries is greater, with the amount paid for a handset often higher. Organised Criminal Groups are attracted to exporting stolen phones to this lucrative market.
The NMPCU has completed over 450 operations around the UK targeting robbers, burglars, handlers and exporters of stolen phones. The NMPCU works closely with the Home Office, Telecommunications Industry, Law Enforcement Agencies and the Financial Sector. Our focus is the reduction of crimes involving the theft or handling of a mobile phon