Mobile phone theft research report highlights models targeted by thieves

Posted On 29 Jul 2014
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Research published by Home Secretary Theresa May not only highlights the most popular handsets targeted by thieves but also sets out practical steps to protect mobile phones from being stolen. The research paper includes a ‘Mobile Phone Theft Ratio’ that shows which handsets may be most likely to be targeted by thieves. The paper” which was produced in conjunction with the Behavioural Insights Team and pieced together in consultation with the mobile phone industry” also sets out practical steps as to how members of the public can protect their mobile phones from being stolen. The Mobile Phone Theft Ratio” based on data for the period August 2012 to January 2014″ is topped by the Apple iPhone models 5, 5C, 5S and 4S followed by the BlackBerry 9790 in fifth place. Samsung Galaxy and HTC phones also feature on the index. The likelihood of a phone being targeted by thieves is driven by a number of factors, including the overall desirability of the phone itself, the ease of access to valuable personal data stored on handsets and the perceived risk of the phone being tracked once it has been stolen. Level of theft remains a concern Home Secretary Theresa May said:” Crime has fallen by more than 10% under this Government. This is good news for a safer England and Wales. However, the level of mobile phone theft remains a concern. People are increasingly carrying their lives in their pockets, with bank details, e-mails and other sensitive personal information easily accessible through mobile phones. This is why it’s vital that Government, the police service and industry work together to tackle this form of criminality.” The Home Secretary continued:” The Mobile Phone Theft Ratio will inform consumers about which mobile phones are most targeted by thieves. We are also working with industry to stop the reactivation of phones overseas, thereby killing the export market on which organised criminals rely. The mobile phone industry is already taking vital action to introduce features that enable phones to be tracked and wiped if they are stolen. It’s encouraging to see that these security improvements have contributed to recorded theft from the person falling by 10% in the last year, according to the most recent crime statistics.” The paper highlights the success of new features, such as the iOS7 operating system developed by Apple and the Find My Mobile and Reactivation Lock features introduced by Samsung. Intelligence from the Metropolitan Police Service suggests that the iOS7 system has already affected the black market value of stolen phones. The research paper also shows that people are most likely to have their phones stolen directly from their person (through pick-pocketing) or when the handset is briefly left unattended, for example at a table in a bar. The data highlights that certain groups are particularly vulnerable: 14-24 year olds and, most notably, women are more likely to be the victims of mobile phone theft.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.