Love your Phone campaign

15 August 2013

Love your Phone campaign

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is asking Londoners to 'Love your Phone' in a drive to raise awareness in reducing mobile phone theft at a launch on Thursday 15 August.

The 'Love your Phone' campaign, designed by the Clapham Grand nightclub and lent to other bars locally, has proved to be a successful initiative that it is now to be rolled out London wide with the support of the MPS.

"The campaign will remind everyone there are simple steps we can take to reduce crime."

Whilst total crime in London continues to fall and personal robbery is down, 'theft offences' remain a challenge, with personal theft up by 9.9% compared to the previous twelve months.

Around 70% of all theft person involves a mobile phone [approximately 80% of these involve an iPhone], with around 7,000 phones stolen per month (in personal robbery, theft person and other theft offences).

To tackle this issue MPS Commander Christine Jones launched Operation Ringtone in five key London boroughs [Westminster, Camden, Islington, Hackney and Lambeth], which has resulted in a 9.5% reduction in mobile phone related crime since February 2013 - representing 2020 fewer victims. From August this operation has been extended across the MPS in all 32 London boroughs.

Operation Ringtone and the 'Love your Phone' campaign is a partnership crime prevention initiative involving officers working across the MPS , targeting theft hotspots with increased patrols and using all available actionable intelligence and technology to bring offenders to justice. Boroughs also work with businesses to help them reduce their customers' vulnerability with crime prevention measures and give advice to the public to help them protect themselves.

The MPS is asking businesses to support the 'Love your Phone' campaign to raise awareness and pro-actively help reduce thefts of mobile phones across the capital.

Commander Christine Jones says: "The 'Love your Phone' campaign will hopefully remind everyone that there are simple steps we can all take to reduce this type of crime".

"The way we interact with our smartphones has changed. We now involve them in our social encounters through the increased use of social media. We use them to 'check ourselves in' at a location, take a photo, or by looking something up as a result of the conversation. Therefore we tend to keep our phones in our hand or left on the table for quick access".

"People are naturally distracted in busy environments, such as café, bars and pubs so we are working with the owners, giving crime prevention advice and information about local criminals to help them keep their customers safe and keep the thieves out"

"We would also ask the public to take extra care of their valuables. Many of the thefts are taking place during the day in shops and cafes but at night the problem moves to bars and nightclubs".

Clapham Grand's General Manager, Mark Pope said "I am delighted that our scheme can contribute towards lowering phone thefts in the Capital. We are delighted to be working with the Met Police in encouraging our customers to look after their property while providing a safe and enjoyable environment".

Mobile phone theft has been on the rise nationally and is a particular problem near stations and bus stops or in pubs, cafes and shops where opportunistic thieves will be on the lookout for easy pickings.

As part of the 'Love your Phone' campaign you will see posters in licensed premises, café and other businesses throughout our Town Centres in an attempt to raise awareness.

The MPS wish to remind you that if you have to have to use your phone in public, remember to stay alert and aware especially when leaving train, tube stations and crowded places. Also, avoid leaving your phone on display when in bars or cafes. If you see anybody committing a theft or looking like they are about to, then ring 999.

If you know of anybody stealing or handling stolen mobile phones please let us know either by ringing 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on telephone number 0800 555 111.

For further crime prevention advice on how to protect your phone, contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team or visit the Crime Prevention section of this website.