New funds have been made available to the police to help identify stolen mobile phones more efficiently.
Funding of £250,000 has allowed the Police National Computer (PNC) to link to the National Mobile Phone Register (NMPR), enabling officers to quickly check if a phone has been registered as stolen from its owner.
Around 25,000 police searches of the NMPR are carried out every month. Integrating this database with the PNC will mean officers will be able track down registered phones with one call over a police radio.
The National Mobile Phone Crime Unit is also working with the Home Office to build safeguards into new developments in m-commerce, as mobile phones are increasingly used for banking and payments.
Home Office Minister Alan Campbell said: “By working closely with the mobile phone industry we have already put in place measures to make it harder for thieves to profit from mobile phone theft. Ninety per cent of handsets reported stolen are now blocked within 24 hours of reporting, reducing their value and incentive for thieves.”