Mobile phone and i-Phone thefts increase dramatically in Islington
�Mobile phone theft in Islington has increased dramatically according to new figures – and thieves have recently begun targeting iPhones.
The Metropolitan Police Service revealed a mobile phone was stolen in 3,140 different crimes between April 1 2010 and March 31 – a rise of nearly 800 incidents, or 34 per cent, compared to the previous year.
The Freedom of Information (FoI) request obtained by the Gazette also showed a staggering 2,613 handsets were stolen between April and October this year, indicating the figures are set to rise again.
Victims were also robbed of mobile phones after the threat or use of force in 76 incidents in August, 64 in September and 86 in October.
Acting Det Supt Steve Wallace, of Islington Police, said: “We are aware of the growing problem
“We have seen an increase in these offences since the release of the new iPhone 4S, with phones snatched from people as they use them in the street, mainly by youths on pedal cycles.
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“There is a crime prevention message here about making sure you are careful with your phone when out in public and vigilant to your surroundings.
“But we are also employing a number of tactics to try and tackle the problem, including an increased police presence in hotspot areas and working with the mobile phone industry.”
In November there were 126 iPhone snatches which involved thieves on bikes.
One cycle-riding thief grabbed a mobile phone from a 30-year-old woman on November 1 in Essex Road.
Another victim, aged 45, had his iPhone stolen by a cyclist in Caledonian Road on November 27.
Sgt Kieran McAuliffe, of Islington Crime Squad, said: “This is a major issue and covert operations are in place across the borough.
“We are determined to bring perpetrators to justice.”
Statistics uncovered by the Gazette show a monthly increase this year in phone thefts with 284 stolen in August, 323 in September and 472 in October.