Metropolitan Police launches campaign to tackle rising iPhone theft

MPS launches the “Love your Phone” campaign to reduce mobile device theft.

More than 5,000 iPhones and 7,000 mobile phones overall are stolen in the capital every month, according the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). 

In a big to help reduce crime levels 3,500 people have been arrested for mobile device thefts this year the MPS has launched the "Love your Phone" initiative.

As part of the operation, police will be targeting crime hotspots by stepping up patrols and educating users to increase awareness of and, ultimately reduce, robbery incidents.

Around 70 per cent of all thefts in the capital involve mobile phones with 80 per cent of those targeting iPhones. The police said that, while overall crime in London is down, theft offences remain a challenge, with personal theft up by 9.9 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.

The MPS launched "Operation Ringtone" in five London boroughs (Camden, Hackney, Islington, Lambeth and Westminster). It said this has resulted in a reduction in phone thefts in these boroughs of almost 10 per cent or around 2,020 fewer victims.

The initiative , which sees the police working with local businesses, will be extended to all 32 London Boroughs from this month.

"The way we interact with our smartphones has changed. We now involve them in our social encounters through the increased use of social media. We use them to 'check ourselves in' at a location, take a photo, or by looking something up as a result of the conversation. Therefore we tend to keep our phones in our hand or left on the table for quick access," said Metropolitan Police commander Christine Jones.

"People are naturally distracted in busy environments, such as cafs, bars and pubs, so we are working with the owners, giving crime prevention advice and information about local criminals to help them keep their customers safe and keep the thieves out. We would also ask the public to take extra care of their valuables. Many of the thefts are taking place during the day in shops and cafes but at night the problem moves to bars and nightclubs."

The campaign comes as Mayor Boris Johnson has joined forces with counterparts in New York and San Francisco to urge smartphone manufacturers to do more to prevent mobile theft.

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