Supercover data shows mobile muggings up by 10pc


Insurance provider also repeats appeal from the Metropolitan Police for the industry to do more to combat this 

Supercover Insurance has echoed Metropolitan Police calls for operators and manufacturers to do more to prevent mobile phone theft, after muggings in which mobiles were stolen rose by 10 per cent during the past two quarters.

The mobile phone insurance company revealed it processed more than 1,000 claims in July and is averaging just under 1,000 claims per month so far this year. Around 3,000 claims were received in Q2 as opposed to 2,700 claims in Q1.

A tenth of claims each month came from London, the firm said. The north of England was a bigger crime hotspot than the south and eight per cent of claims came from West Yorkshire, with Lancashire accounting for a further seven per cent.

Supercover revealed the figures two weeks after Mobile News ran a front-page story headlined ‘Metropolitan Police urges operators to do more to prevent phone thefts’ (see issue 546).

Met Police chief superintendent Gerry Campbell told  Mobile News more than 340,000 mobile phones were stolen in the UK last year – with around 7,000 stolen in London every month. In addition, muggings in London have increased by 9.9 per cent over the past year.

Data backup

Supercover Insurance director Carmi Korine repeated Ch Supt Campbell’s calls for the industry to do more, and encouraged customers to take out free data backup services with their insurance policies.

He said: “Unless the manufacturers and operators do more to educate the end user on avoiding being a victim of theft, then I can’t see any end to this increasing trend.

“Tracking and blocking apps could be pre-installed into the handset by the manufacturer, while operators could remind people when selling phones that they can back up and restore their private data.

“We offer a free data back up service with our insurance policies, and while a lot of people register for it, many don’t use it.

“People have become too complacent in thinking they won’t be a victim of mobile phone theft, and this must change.”