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Mobile phone thieves to get the message

Government campaign targets the young


A close-up of someone holding a mobile phone.

Abbreviated text message language is being used in a new government campaign cracking down on mobile phone theft.

It’s being used to target 16 – 25 year olds to drive home the message that buying a stolen phone is a waste of money as the industry blocks them within 48 hrs.

The adverts will feature in magazines including Heat, Zoo and Nuts, on websites such as Ebay, Loot and Gumtree and be emblazoned on phone boxes and litter bins in youth social hotspots.

Network subscriptions in the UK have increased from 17 million to 72 million in the last eight years and although the majority of thefts occur when a handset is left unattended, mobile phones are linked to robbery.

A phone is stolen in around 52 per cent of robberies and is the only item stolen in around 28 per cent.

Second-hand phones

Crime Reduction Minister Baroness Scotland said: ‘I want this campaign to take the bottom out of the illicit phone market entirely.

‘Young people should be left in no doubt that stolen phones won’t work anymore. The prize will be a dramatic reduction in mobile phone crime overall making young people safer.’

In April it became an offence to offer to or agree to re-program a mobile phone whereas previously police officers had to catch someone in the act

The government is also providing advice on how to legitimately buy a second-hand mobile phone.

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