The UK’s smartphone crime hotspots


Of all the modern ‘must-have’ gadgets, it is the smartphone that now leads the way around the world. Indeed it has become something of a necessity in the eyes of many people to own one. The capabilities of a smartphone are immense and it is typical to have a fair amount of your life stored on there.

As these devices are so advanced it is easy to appreciate how sought after smartphones are and the kind of money they change hands for on the street. The ease at which so many people steal this highly sophisticated device means that the black market for smartphones is a huge business. Smartphone muggings reportedly rose by 400 per cent last year in London, a problem that arises throughout much of the UK.

Smartphone crime around London

London has an extremely high rate of smartphone theft and almost half of all mobiles that are stolen are iPhones. Approximately 300 mobile phones are pilfered in the capital on a daily basis and over three quarters of the thieves are believed to be male. A high proportion of all thefts in London involve phones being taken and the worst-hit areas are Westminster, Croydon, Hackney, Islington and Lambeth.

Mobile theft on the Tube

Those aged between 25 and 30 are reportedly most at risk of phone theft while using the London Underground. Women are apparently three times more likely to be a victim. Although most of these thefts occur in the station than on the Tube itself, it is never advisable to put your phone down on the seat or leave it in your bag on the floor while travelling.

The Tube lines on which most phones are taken are the Northern, Jubilee, District, London Overground and Bakerloo. Conversely, the safest lines in this respect are: Central, Circle, Hammersmith and City, Victoria, and Metropolitan.

The highest number of reported mobile theft on the London Underground takes place between Camden Town and Angel (Northern Line). The next most common points at which phones are stolen on the Tube are West Croydon to Canada Water (London Overground), Lambeth North to Piccadilly Circus (Bakerloo Line), West Ham to White Chapel (District Line) and Hackney Central to Camden Road (London Overground).

It is a good idea to be wary if someone asks you for the time on your phone as this can be an almost open invitation for them to steal your phone.

Outside of the capital

London gets a lot of attention for its crime rate and the above figures are certainly conducive with the negative crime rates of the British capital. However, that is not to say that the rest of the UK does not figure in the list of smartphone hotspots. Protect Your Bubble did a study into this aspect of the nation’s crime and by taking the national average of smartphone theft found that those in Brighton are 4.4 times more likely to have their device stolen. Following behind Brighton was Manchester, where smartphone owners are at 3.8 times the risk. Belfast (3.5), Leicester (3.5) and London (3.4) make up the top five.

Police continue to make strong efforts to crack down on smartphone crime but there is a real difficulty due to how easy they are to steal and sell. If you own a smartphone, or indeed any mobile phone, it is essential that you protect it. A number of phone thefts occur when the victim is using it to make or receive a call in public, for example when leaving a train or underground station. When in a crowded place make sure your phone is safely zipped inside a pocket or in a sealed bag held close to you.

Kings Security Systems have a dedicated approach to the safety of properties through their advanced technology. They are also strong advocates of all-round personal security and vigilance when it comes to protecting possessions such as smartphone devices.

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