Nottinghamshire (Notts) Police recently put together a Mobile Phone Theft Reduction Team (MPTR) to gather intelligence on mobile theft trends in order to identify links to organized groups. Detective Inspector Leona Scurr, who heads up the team, notes that the aim is to explore the ways thieves turn stolen devices into cash, be it through phone recycling or other means as well as those making fraudulent insurance claims and false reports of theft.
Mobile phone theft in Notts ranges from 2,500-3,500 device thefts per year, though police expect that the combination of students returning to school (youth being a prime target for theft) combined with a new iPhone may spike thefts with "a potent combination."
Notts police are running a number of operations, undercover and visible, to both deter theft and identify criminals. From pamphlets to on-campus events, Notts police are attempting to educate people about their part in deterring theft. Their efforts have thus far meant a 5% decrease in mobile theft from the month previous.
"Our concern is that in the last few weeks hundreds of young people have returned to Nottinghamshire for the start of the new university term. The fact that there’s also a new iPhone on the market adds to the potential for a spike is this sort of crime.
These balloons are a bit of fun, but the message is clear: Thieves want your phone. Don’t make it easy for them to get it.
Use a pin code for your keypad, record your IMEI number and don’t forget to activate a tracking app.
Register your phone at www.immobilise.com and, as simple as it sounds, hold on to your handset. Keep it close, in a zipped pocket or bag, and keep your wits about you in crowded places."
We believe that true mobile theft deterrence includes a comprehensive approach to the problem, from the technical kill switch to education, prevention, arrests, persecution and device recovery. To reduce the chance of becoming a mobile theft victim, follow safe device use guidelines such as keeping the devices hidden. If someone approaches you for your smartphone, give it up and contact police immediately. Do not attempt self-recovery (read why in this whitepaper); follow our post-theft tips here.