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Heatwave sparks rise in mobile thefts

Heatwave has seen a rise in mobile phone thefts Credit: PA

A major crackdown on thieves who target people using mobile phones and other valuables is underway across the capital.

More than 7,500 officers are out in force across London's 32 boroughs after recording a sharp rise the number of offences during the heatwave.

Police have this morning been carrying out dawn raids targeting suspected thieves.

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Heatwave sparks rise in mobile thefts

Heatwave has seen a rise in mobile phone thefts Credit: PA

Police are urging mobile phine users in Ilslington to be on the alert after a sharp rise in mobile phone thefts.

Police have put the increase down to the hot weather. In the space of a week since the heatwave began, 59 incidents of phone theft were recorded.

Hotspots include St Paul’s Road / Ball’s Pond Road, Essex Road and Old Street.

Police say the theftsoften take place in busy main roads or outside Tube stations, with theivesmaking a getaway on bikes.

Motorists' excuses revealed

It's against the law, so why are so many still using the phone while driving? Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

Surrey Police and Surrey County Council have released details of the excuses given by drivers as part of a campaign targeting the use of mobile phones while behind the wheel.

In one case, the driver stopped by police pleaded for help, saying: "It was my ex-wife harassing me, can you speak to her?"

Another motorist blamed work pressures when he said: "My boss called to see where I was."

A father-to-be explained: "I answered the phone because my wife is having a baby and I thought she may have gone into labour."

The lure of a smart phone proved too tempting for one motorist, who said: "I'm not on the phone, I am looking something up on the internet".

While another pleaded: "I wasn't calling anyone, I was replying to an email."

Another driver admitted: "I am always using it. It's about time I got caught."

Another driver said: "I was just telling them I couldn't answer as I was driving," while another claimed: "This is the first time I have used it."

And a man stopped for running a red light said: "Sorry, I didn't even see the red light, I was on my phone at the time."

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council's cabinet member for community safety, said: "It may be tempting to answer a call or check your Facebook while driving, but it is a huge distraction and the consequences can be devastating.

"You are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone while driving. Your reaction times are 50% slower and you are more likely to drift across lanes. If you get caught, you face three penalty points on your licence and a £60 fine."

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