Thieves steal 160 iPhones per day in London in 2012

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Met Police warns of mobile phone thefts in LondonPolice have warned that there has been a sharp increase in mobile phone theft in London over the past two years, as thieves focus on high-end smartphones such as the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 that are now widely used.

The figures released by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) show there were just shy of 10,000 phone thefts in December 2012, up from 8,000 in December 2010.

The rise in thefts was also evidenced by the fact in a six-month period between April and September, 2012 a staggering 28,800 iPhones were reported stolen in London - the equivalent of 158 iPhones a day. Overall a total number of 56,680 mobiles were stolen during the period, equating to 341 phones per day.

The police warned that many thefts occur when victims are using their devices outside, whether texting, calling or browsing the web, and then have them snatched from their hands by people on bikes, as this footage shows:

The police also warned people to be wary outside Tube and train stations, as many people instinctively check their devices on exiting, which is where many criminals lie in wait.

To highlight this growing scourge to law-abiding smartphone users, the MPS is launching a new campaign to highlight the issue, with posters such as those above set to be displayed across the city to warn of the issue.

The news of the rise in thefts will be of concern to many firms too, with many employees now using their own devices as their primary work devices too, potentially putting corporate data at risk.

It underlines the fact that corporate data protection is of high importance for many firms, with 95 percent of V3 readers voting that "Ensuring data is protected when employees are using their own devices for work purposes" is their number one IT concern for 2013.

15 Jan 2013

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