The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) released official statistics on crimes recorded by the police from March 2011-March 2012, indicating that mobile theft affected over 826,000 people, up from 797,000 in the previously tracked time period of 2010/2011.
The CSEW estimates that 81% of the population in England and Wales owns a mobile phone (over 45 million mobile phone users), with majority rates jumping to 76% for the 10-13 age group and 94% for 14-17 and the 18-44 group having over 98% adoption. The report indicates that 2% of all of these mobile phone users was a victim of mobile theft in the last 12 months alone.
Mobile phone thefts are most likely to affect youth, with teens and youth aged 14-24 more than twice as likely to be victims of mobile theft as other age groups. Women aged 18 to 24 were at the highest risk for mobile theft with 1 in 20 having their phone stolen. We've previously noted how kids are becoming a target for mobile phone theft (which can become violent), and we're now also hearing about students being targeted for their school-issued iPads.
The CWES reports that the overall personal theft offences have been driven up by increases in mobile theft. The release cites the attractiveness of mobile phones and tablet computers to thieves as being both high in value and widely used as well as difficult to secure against theft. According to the 2011/12 CSEW almost half (46%) of theft from the person and robbery incidents involved theft of a mobile phone compared with just under a third (31%) in the 2010/11 survey.
Want to avoid becoming a statistic? Read up on How to Avoid Being a Mobile Phone Robbery Victim.