The latest round of tests conducted during September this year reveal that the mobile phone industry has far exceeded the target to block 80 per cent of stolen phones as set out in the Mobile Phone Industry Crime Reduction Charter agreed between industry leaders and the then-Home Secretary on 28 July 2006.
Since the Charter was signed, industry, in conjunction with the other stakeholders set a benchmark on which future performance would be measured and this was set at 80%. In February this year the first test of 2006 achieved a 90 per cent pass and in these recent test the figure now stands at 98 per cent.
Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said:
“These results send a powerful message to anyone thinking of stealing or buying a stolen mobile that it will not work.
“By working with industry to take stolen mobiles out of action on the one hand, and enacting tough legislation to give police powers to close down unscrupulous retailers who offer to unblock stolen phones on the other, we are cutting the oxygen of mobile phone crime.
“The industry and the police deserve credit for their efforts.
“Crime figures published this month showed a nine per cent drop in robbery recorded by the police compared with last year. When you bear in mind that a mobile phone is stolen in over 50 per cent of robberies, I think these figures show that joined up action by Government, industry and the police is beginning to bite.”
MICAF Chair Jack Wraith said:
“This test demonstrates the ongoing commitment by the industry to ensure that when a mobile phone handset is reported stolen it is barred. Network operators have again demonstrated the robustness of procedures and processes in place to ensure speedy and timely barring.
“I would add that this sustained level of success has been attained by the strong working partnership that has been established between the Police, the Home Office, the industry and our customers.”
Mick McNally Detective Superintendent of the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit said
The National Mobile Phone Crime unit continues to work closely with UK forces and industry to tackle street crime and other mobile phone related offences by identifying and targeting those responsible for stealing, handling and illegally reprogramming mobile phones. The recent test results announced today demonstrate the industries commitment to blocking stolen phones across all networks. Industry and Home office support has helped the NMPCU and other UK forces crackdown on mobile phone related crime.
We would advise people to use their phones safely and wisely and be aware of the environment they are in. If you lose your phone or have it stolen please report it to your network provider immediately and keep a record of your IMEI number to give to police. By registering free with www.immobilise.com this will assist with the recovery of phones and the investigation of the crime.’
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