Leeds revealed as biggest UK mobile and tablet crime hotspot

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Data from Protect Your Bubble shows the Yorkshire city accounted for nearly a third of all claims across the UK’s 35 biggest towns and cities 

Leeds has been revealed as the biggest mobile and tablet theft hotspot in the UK, accounting for 28.6 per cent of all claims.

This is according to data from gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble, which shows the percentage of total claims it has received in 35 of the UK’s biggest towns and cities, based on almost 30,000 claims received between October 2014 and March 2015.

Belfast is the second biggest theft hotspot, accounting for 11.9 per cent, with London third in the list. with 11.3 per cnet of claims made in the Capital.

Preston (10.7 per cent), Salford (9.1 per cent), Bradford (8.8 per cent), Brighton (7.8 per cent), Milton Keynes (7.6 per cent), Manchester (7.2 per cent) and Northampton (seven per cent) complete the top 10.

From the 35 UK towns and cities released with the data, the least amount of theft claims were made in Swansea (1.6 per cent).

A further survey from Protect Your Bubble of 552 UK UK adults who have had mobiles stolen, or someone in their household, revealed the average stolen phone is worth £206, while almost a quarter (24 per cent) lose handsets worth upwards of £300 to thieves.

More than half (53 per cent) of mobiles are stolen whilst unattended – 13 per cent of which are locked away – with pubs and bars (25 per cent) being the most common theft hotspots, followed by people’s workplaces (14 per cent).

Almost half (47 per cent) of stolen mobiles are taken from individuals. Of these, more than a quarter (26 per cent) are stolen from coat pockets, 12 per cent are snatched from people’s hands, 12 per cent stolen from back trouser pockets and 11 per cent taken from front trouser pockets.

The research revealed 16 per cent have had a phone stolen from someone while walking down the street, 3 per cent whilst shopping and 11 per cent on the bus or train.

Protect Your Bubble global director Stephen Ebbett said: “There are cities where mobile and tablet thefts spike well above average, but incidences of theft are actually dropping year on year. Only 6% of the claims we received in this six-month period were for thefts, down from 9% the year before, and down from 11% two years ago. The police have improved preventative measures, and gadget owners are increasingly cautious about when and where they use their mobiles in public.

“If the worst happens and your phone is stolen, call your airtime provider and block it as quickly as you can. The networks have now all agreed to cap shock charges for unauthorised calls on stolen devices at £100, but people are only covered if they report their phone stolen within 24 hours of a theft and, in any case, this change has yet to be actioned by all the networks. Good gadget insurance will replace the stolen handset, as well as covering you for unauthorised calls, even if the phone is reported beyond that 24 hour time limit.”

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