Westminster is worst area in London for handset thefts


Westminster has the most mobile handset thefts, Islington saw the biggest rise while the rate of prosecutions remains pitifully low

More than 3,000 handsets were stolen in the Westminster area of London in 2012 making it the worst borough in the city for mobile theft.

Figures from the Metropolitan Police also revealed that Islington saw the biggest rise in thefts, the 2,452 phones stolen in the borough was more than double the figure of 2011.

Mobile crime in Hackney also grew by more than 50 per cent to 1,409 in 2012, as opposed to 951 the year before. The borough with the lowest rate was Bexley which recorded just 79 thefts in 2012.

Despite the growth in the figures, the rate of prosecutions in London was pitifully low. Just 3.76 per cent of incidents reported across the city resulted in a prosecution.

The figures were released following a Freedom of Information request by the London Evening Standard.

“The theft of mobile phones is often opportunistic and due to the circumstances and speed of the incidents often victims are unable to describe or recognise the offenders,” said a Metropolitan Police spokesperson.

The Met Police has been running a number of initiatives to combat theft in the capital under Operation Ringtone including increased patrol in crime hotspots. It also ran a poster campaign (pictured) last summer.

According to the force’s website more than two thirds of victims are aged between 13 and 16.