Over 230 arrests were made in London on Wednesday by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) as part a crackdown on mobile phone theft called Operation Big Wig.
The Met carried out a day of co-ordinated action with 5,000 officers in 32 London boroughs to help raise awareness of the risks of phone theft and hit back at thieves. The arrests on Wednesday were for a range of offences, including suspicion of handling stolen goods, robbery, burglary and drugs.
Commander Stephen Watson, who is leading the operation, said that tackling phone theft was a key priority for the Met and he urged citizens to be on their guard against thieves.
“Mobile phone-related crime is a high priority for the MPS - work continues day in and day out to target those responsible and the networks they use to sell on stolen property, but big, highly visible operations like today play a major part in the fight against crime and demonstrates there is no hiding place for criminals," he said.
“Crimes like burglary, robbery and theft have a huge impact on the people who are victims. The operation aims to stop criminals stealing in the first place but registering your phone can really help us get your property back to you and bring successful prosecutions against those who are targeting these high value devices.”
The action comes as London mayor Boris Johnson signs London up to a partnership with US cities New York and Los Angeles to help put pressure on phone manufacturers to try and make it easier to cancel phones in order to make their theft pointless in the first place.
Despite falling levels of theft in London, mobile phone-related crimes have risen dramatically, with Apple's iPhone range the most sought-after device among criminals.
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