Mobile phone theft is the only rising crime in England and Wales, with virtually every other form of crime dropping since 2011.
“Theft from the person” (the police’s fancy new way of saying muggings), under which header many mobile phone thefts fall, have risen by 8%, with 107,471 reported incidents in 2012 according to the Office for National Statistics. It was the only category of crime to rise in 2012, with 90% considered “stealth thefts” – pickpocketing situations where the victim is unaware during the event.
So what’s causing the rise? It’s likely simply down to the value of items we carry around with us. If you’ve got a smartphone and a tablet on your persons, you’re likely walking around with £1,000 worth of goods on you. Factor in maybe a laptop too and a nice pair of headphones if you’re commuting to work or college, and it’s easy to see why you’d be a target for criminals.
So what can you do to protect yourself and your belongings? It’s not easy, but try to avoid taking your valuables out with you, or at least getting them out in unfamiliar public places. It’s also worth shelling out for insurance these days (worth it considering the cost of each gadget), and perhaps even consider registering your tech with Immobilise, the police force’s database that will help recover your stolen goods if an arrest is made.