Steep rise in mobile phone theft in Islington
By abi_silvester | Monday, December 12, 2011, 22:56
Police are reporting a dramatic increase of mobile phone thefts in Islington, noting that the latest version of the iPhone has become a particular target for thieves. Incidents where a mobile handset was stolen increased by 800 cases in the year ending March 31 2011, representing a 34 per cent rise.
The iPhone 4: police are citing the launch of the new handset as a major reason behind a massive spike in phone theft incidents
One particular tactic being favoured by mobile phone thieves is approaching pedestrians in the street, robbing them of their handsets and fleeing the scene by bike - a method that is being reported all over London. Islington has seen its fair share of such cases, with 126 such cases happening across the borough, including one in Caledonian Road and another in Essex Road.
Acting Det Supt Steve Wallace, of Islington Police, said: "We are aware of the growing problem. We have seen an increase in these offences since the release of the new iPhone 4S, with phones snatched from people as they use them in the street, mainly by youths on pedal cycles.
What can you do to avoid becoming a victim? 'Stay vigilent' is the primary message from police, but Islington police also stress that they are increasing their presence in known crime spots where thefts have been reported. Most victims of this type of crime are simply off guard, often using their phones at the time of the crime so paying attention to your surroundings is key. Some other points to bear in mind when on the streets include:
- keeping your phone in an inside pocket or zipped/closed bag rather than around your neck or on a belt
- finding a spot that's well lit if you need to make a call in public at night
- Avoid using your phone in tube or train stations, particularly at night: these are often target areas for thieves
[News via Islington Gazette]