Socialist Worker

More mobile phones 'stolen' than leave manufacturers

Issue No. 1799

FURTHER evidence has come to light confirming that crime is actually falling. There had been a recorded rise in street crime that was almost wholly down to an increase in the number of reported mobile phone thefts. The media seized on the increase in street robbery figures two months ago to claim that violent crime is spiralling.

Now the taskforce set up to look at phone theft has found that the figure for phone thefts is vastly inflated by insurance claims. It found that almost 25 percent of phones reported stolen are still in the hands of their owners. Anecdotal evidence suggests more have been lost and then reported stolen.

A police investigation into mobile phone theft last year revealed that more Nokia 8210 handsets had been reported stolen than the manufacturer had actually produced. One reason for the false claims is the extra charges companies make for customers who want to change their contracts.

Often the only way people can avoid these is to report the phone stolen. The true figures on mobile phone theft fit the findings of the British Crime Survey, which reported in March that crime has fallen by 33 percent in the last five years. But the media still claims crime is rising.

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Sat 11 May 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1799
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