Police arrest 209 in crackdown on mobile phone theft


The force has seen a 9.5 per cent fall in mobile related crime year on year due to its targeting of theft hotspots with increased patrols

The metropolitan police has launched a crackdown on mobile phone thieves in London after seeing a “surge” in the crime.

More than 7,500 officers across 32 boroughs are involved in the the operation, which involves dawn raids of suspects’ properties.

So far there have been 209 arrests for offences including the handling of stolen mobile phones.

The campaign is the result of a rise in theft in London, which the police said is due to a “surge” in mobile phone theft over the last year.

It follows a similar campaign last month, ‘Operation Big Wing’, which involved a day-long focus on mobile phone theft, (see here).

The police has also launched ‘Operation Ringtone’ in partnership with its National Mobile Phone Chime Unit (NMPCU), targeting theft hotspots with increased patrols.

Operation Ringtone launched in five boroughs (Westminster, Camden, Islington, Hackney and Lambeth) in February and is now being rolled out to others in London.

So far the police say it has resulted in a 9.5 per cent reduction in mobile phone related crime. There were 17,811 mobile phone related offences between February and July 2013, compared to 19,687 in the same period last year.