HC Deb 16 September 2003 vol 410 cc667-8W
Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crime numbers were issued by the police for(a) lost and (b) stolen mobile phones in the last 24 months for which figures are available. [127826]

Ms Blears

The Home Office collects statistics on the basis of recorded crime figures, not crime numbers issued by the police.

The Home Office does not centrally collect or collate national statistics on the numbers of mobile phone thefts as mobile phone theft is not a separate crime category. Mobile phone theft crime figures are included within the crime categories of robbery, snatch theft and theft from person.

The Home Office collects four-weekly figures from the 10 street crime police force areas on the numbers of robberies, snatch thefts and thefts from person involving a mobile phone and for nine of the 10 areas these are broken down into those involving a mobile phone only. The data are for internal management and monitoring purposes and are unpublished.

Home Office Research (Mobile Phone Theft, HORS 235) published in January 2002 looked at the scale of the mobile phone theft problem. Its best estimate of the number of mobile phones stolen in the UK in 2000–01, including unreported offences, was 710,000. This estimate was based on findings from police recording, British Crime Survey, MORI schools survey and the On Track schools survey.