UK’s mobile and tablet theft hotspots are Leeds, Belfast and London (Swansea and Newcastle are safest

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If you don’t want to get your mobile phone nicked then perhaps avoid Leeds, Belfast and London! For these three places top the list of the UK towns and cities where people are most likely to get their mobile phones and tablets stolen.

According to new claims data from the specialist gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble, almost three in 10 (28.6%) claims received from smartphone and tablet owners in Leeds and 11.9% of claims from Belfast are for theft – higher than any other locations in a list of the UK’s 35 biggest towns and cities. In third place is London, where 11.3% of all claims are for theft.

Located close to the UK’s mobile and tablet theft hotspot of Leeds are Preston (10.7%), Salford (9.1%) and Bradford (8.8%) which all feature in the UK top ten, each with around one in 10 claims for theft.

Swansea residents are safest from mobile and tablet thieves, with just 1.6% of total claims for theft – followed by Newcastle (1.8%), Derby (2.7%) and Wolverhampton (2.9%).

A survey by Protect Your Bubble of mobile theft victims and their families revealed that the average stolen phone is worth £206, while almost a quarter (24%) lose handsets worth upwards of £300 to thieves.

More than half (53%) of mobiles are stolen whilst unattended by the owner – 13% of which are locked away – with pubs and bars (25%) being the most common theft hotspots, followed by people’s workplaces (14%).

Almost half (47%) of stolen mobiles are pinched from individuals. Of these, more than a quarter (26%) are stolen from coat pockets, 12% are snatched from people’s hands, 12% are stolen from back trouser pockets, and 11% are taken from front trouser pockets. You are most likely to have a phone stolen from your person while walking down the street (16%), or whilst shopping (13%), or on a bus (11%) or train (11%).

Those aged between 16 and 24 years old are also more likely to have their handsets stolen, as revealed in the table below, which shows the age of mobile theft victims.

Says Stephen Ebbett, global director of Protect Your Bubble: “There are cities where mobile and tablet thefts spike well above average, but incidences of theft are actually dropping year on year. Only 6% of the claims we received in this six-month period were for thefts, down from 9% the year before, and down from 11% two years ago. The police have improved preventative measures, and gadget owners are increasingly cautious about when and where they use their mobiles in public.”

UK Town/City

% Mobile & Tablet Theft Claims Oct 2014 – Mar 2015

1

Leeds

28.6%

2

Belfast

11.9%

3

London

11.3%

4

Preston

10.7%

5

Salford

9.1%

6

Bradford

8.8%

7

Brighton

7.8%

8

Milton Keynes

7.6%

9

Manchester

7.2%

10

Northampton

7.0%

11

Bristol

6.8%

12=

Plymouth

6.7%

12=

Birmingham

6.7%

14

Reading

6.6%

15

Sheffield

6.57%

16

Luton

6.56%

17

Nottingham

6.4%

18

Southampton

6.2%

19

Leicester

6.18%

20

Sunderland

5.7%

21

Coventry

5.6%

22

Swindon

5.3%

23

Hull

5.1%

24

Glasgow

4.81%

25

Portsmouth

4.76%

26

Liverpool

4.4%

27

Stoke-on-Trent

4.3%

28

Cardiff

4.2%

29

Aberdeen

4.0%

30

Edinburgh

3.9%

31

Wakefield

3.1%

32

Wolverhampton

2.9%

33

Derby

2.7%

34

Newcastle

1.8%

35

Swansea

1.6%

UK

6.4%

 

16-24

25-34

35-44

45-54

55+

Stolen in past 12 months

20.4%

8.3%

14.3%

10.7%

8.6%

Stolen in past 2 years

59.2%

55.3%

57.1%

49.6%

37.5%

Stolen more than 2 years ago

20.4%

36.4%

28.6%

39.7%

53.9%

Chris Price