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Boris Johnson has signed London up to the Secure Our Smartphones (SOS) initiative to join New York and San Francisco in tackling the growing menace of smartphone thefts blighting the cities. On average, 160 iPhone thefts happen in London every day.
Officials have already called on smartphone manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung and Nokia to make it easier to terminate phones if they are stolen, rendering them useless to thieves and making thefts a waste of time.
In response the SOS initiative is designed to bring together prosecutors, police chiefs, attorney generals and public safety officials to work with the smartphone sector to develop tools to tackle the issue.
Johnson said joining the initiative was a key step forward in tackling the problem by bringing together experts from across the globe.
“Residents and visitors to our city need better protection from the menace of smartphone theft. Cities like London, New York and San Francisco all face the same challenge and that is why London is joining the Secure Our Smartphones campaign to help find a global solution,” he said.
Johnson also repeated calls to smartphone makers urging them to take the issue seriously and work with the SOS initiative.
“We need the industry to take this issue seriously and come up with a technical solution that can squash the illegal smartphone market that is fuelling this crime.”
New York welcomed London's move, with attorney general Eric Schneiderman saying it was a clear message to smartphone makers.
"By teaming up with international partners like Mayor Johnson we are sending the huge international corporations that dominate the smartphone industry a very powerful message, demanding that they be good corporate citizens and take responsible steps to ensure the safety of our consumers," he said.
Earlier this year the Metropolitian Police attempted to raise the public's awareness of the rising theft of smartphones by posting CCTV footage of the types of smartphone thefts being carried out.
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.