Electronic Device Theft Falls Across UK But Is Most Likely In Leicestershire

phone theft kill switch pocket thief © Ammentorp Photography Shutterstock

FoI requests to police show Leicestershire is challenging London as the UK’s phone and tablet theft capital

There were more thefts of electronic devices as a proportion of total thefts in Leicestershire and the West Midlands than in London last year, according to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests sent to the UK’s 46 police forces.

More than half (51 percent) of all instances of theft in Leicestershire involved a phone, computer or tablet – significantly more than the national average of 19 percent. Electronic goods were involved in 31 percent of thefts in the West Midlands and 27 percent in London (including City of London and Metropolitan Police).

The capital still reported the most electronic device thefts in volume with 77,243 but combined figures from the 34 constabularies that responded to communication and security specialist ViaSat’s requests show the number of device thefts actually fell from 290,651 to 193,210 during the period between March 2014 and February 2015.

Jesters from Leicester

ViaSat phone theft tableMayor of London Boris Johnson, along with his counterparts in New York City and San Francisco, has campaigned for smartphone manufacturers to install a ‘kill-switch’ that renders a handset useless if it is stolen. Johnson claims instances of phone theft are falling dramatically following action from Apple, Google, Samsung and others.

ViaSat says users should ensure the data on their device is protected in case it is stolen. The same FoI requests have shown just one tenth of all devices stolen from businesses containing sensitive information are being reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

“For many thieves, the most tempting target isn’t necessarily the device itself, but what it contains,” said Chris McIntosh, ViaSat UK CEO. “From access to your bank records; to blackmail; to flat-out identity theft, a lost or stolen device can still damage its owner long after it’s stolen.

“As the largest city in the UK, with the most visitors, London will have a disproportionate number of thefts. But as we can see from these results, wherever you are in the UK you need to not only be wary of your own devices; but make sure that anyone who records and stores your sensitive data does so responsibly and securely.”

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