Warning to protect gifts from thieves

The Metropolitan Police Service is warning owners of new electronic gadgets given as Christmas presents to take steps to protect themselves from thieves as figures for personal robbery and theft start rising over the next few weeks.

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Met: 'People need to take a lot of care of their phones'

Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Letchford, Territorial Policing crime lead for the Met, said:

"Many of these phones and other devices are worth hundreds of pounds and not only contain personal information but may also have photographs of sentimental value that can't easily be replaced.

"People need to take as much care of their phones in the same way as they would their other valuables. They would be reluctant for example to openly display hundreds of pounds worth of cash in the street.

"There are a number of practical steps you can take to help protect against theft of your phone and which will give us the best chance in the event of a robbery or theft of getting it back for you. I would urge all owners to take the time to carry these out."

The people in this footage are in no way connected to the crimes mentioned by the Met.

Sharp rise in theft of gadgets in London

Between April and September 2012, 28,800 iPhones alone (out of a total number of 56,680 mobiles) were reported stolen in London, that is 170 a day on average.

There were also 139,345 burglary, robbery and theft and handling stolen goods offences related to all phones, laptops and MP3 players between 1 October 2011 and end of September 2012, compared with 131,506 over the same time period the previous year, a rise of around 6%.

In England and Wales there are approximately 330,000 phones reported stolen a year. In London statistics show phones are stolen in around 70% of personal robberies.

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Met warns owners of new gadgets

The Metropolitan Police Service is warning owners of new electronic gadgets given as Christmas presents, to take steps to protect themselves from thieves as figures for personal robbery and theft start rising over the next few weeks.

The Met says there is a spike in figures at the end of December into January as children return to school and residents to work with their brand new acquisitions - making London attractive to robbers aiming to get their hands on the latest gadgets.

MPS figures show a historic pattern of increases in mobile phone crime offences in the month of January compared with the month of December. Latest available figures show that in December 2010 offences stood at 8,078 and rose to 8,613 in January 2011.

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