Notts Police have formed a new team dedicated to outsmarting Smartphone thieves.
Under Operation Elixir the Mobile Phone Theft Reduction Team (MPTR) is gathering intelligence and analysing trends in this type of crime in a bid to identify any links to a series or organised groups.
Detective Inspector Leona Scurr, who heads up the team, said: “Our aim is to explore the many different routes thieves use to turn stolen phones into cash.”
“We need to get into their mindset and close down those avenues.”
“We are looking at who is exploiting the loopholes around phone recycling but also those who are turning their unwanted phones into cash while making fraudulent insurance claims and false reports of theft.”
Since 2008, mobile phone theft across Notts has remained steady, ranging between 2,500 and 3,500 offences per year.
DI Scurr said: “With the rise of the Smartphone there has been an increase in mobile phone theft, so much so that when new models are released we see a spike in this sort of crime.
“The next iPhone is due to be launched in the next couple of weeks, just in time for the return of students for a new term — a potent combination.”
“But we are ready for this, with a number of operations, both visible and undercover, in place to deter theft and identify criminals.”
Community Protection has also produced leaflets, which are to be distributed to participating mobile phone shops so they can spread the word among their customers about the best ways to protect their phones from thieves.
DI Scurr said: “You can help us by ensuring you are doing all you can to protect your phone.”
“Have you recorded the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number in a safe place away from your phone? It can be found on the box, in the battery compartment or by typing *#06# into the keypad. You can also obtain it from the network provider.”
“Have you activated an app, such as Find My iPhone, Where’s my Droid? Blackberry Protect or PREY, so that if your phone is lost or stolen you can track it?”
“Have you recorded it on a property register such as Immobilise?”
“Do you keep your phone in a fastened pocket or bag? Have you activated a locking mechanism on your keypad? It’s a simple protective measure but one of the most effective against this type of crime.”
“If you do these simple things you can reduce your chances of falling victim to phone theft and increase your chances of getting your phone back if it is lost or stolen.”