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Government moves to curb mobile theft

Jack Straw moves to halt massive increase in mobile phone theft

The Home Office has ordered a meeting between all mobile phone operators to tackle runaway mobile phone theft.

No date has yet been set for the meeting but in a recent news briefing Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, expressed his desire to curb the increase in phone-related crimes.

“I think that there are things we can do jointly with industry to reduce the rate of mobile phone theft,” said Straw.

The concern comes after reports from the London Metropolitan police revealed street crimes involving mobile phones had increased four-fold between 1999 and 2000.

Government figures show mobile phones made up 12 percent of stolen property from 1999-2000.

“There are things that can be done through the better use of PINs (personal identification numbers) and the better use of serial numbers. We also want to get a technology group going,” Straw said.

The initiative will include the distribution of a special crime-fighting ‘toolkit’, which will contain information on how local communities can work with police to reduce the number of violent crimes.

Mr Straw told the BBC News service he wanted mobile phone operators to follow the example set by car manufacturers, who after initial reservations greatly improved vehicle security.

The Home Secretary denied allegations that the meeting had been called now to coincide neatly with the forthcoming general elections.

“The purpose [of the meeting] is very much to build up a relationship with the industry,” he insisted.


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