HC Deb 24 February 2004 vol 418 c373W
Mr. Rosindell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the effect of the initiative to deactivate stolen phones upon mobile phone theft. [154855]

Ms Blears

Home Office research ("Mobile Phone Theft", December 2001) found that mobile phone theft was fuelling the rise in street robbery. The Government have worked in partnership with the mobile phone industry and the police to address the issue through the Street Crime Initiative.

As part of this work, from 1 November 2002, all six UK network operators have snared a database on mobile phones so that lost and stolen handsets can be blocked from use across all UK networks. A publicity campaign has informed people of this. There are now over 1.1 million handsets on the UK database, making them less attractive as objects of theft. Street robbery went down 17 per cent. in 2002–03 compared with 2001–02 across the 10 street crime police force areas as a result of the implementation of this and other measures.

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