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830,000 victims of mobile thefts in past 12 months

There were 830,000 victims of mobile phone theft in the previous 12 months, according to new figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

The figures released by the Office for National Statistics for 2011/12 showed that around two percent of mobile phone owners have been the victim of theft during that period.

There have been more than 800,000 victims of mobile phone thefts in the past 12 months. Credit: Press Association

The survey found teenagers and those in their early twenties were twice as likely to have their phone stolen than others, with four percent of people in the 14 to 24 age group reporting being victims.

Almost half (46 percent) of theft from the person and robbery incidents involved theft of a mobile phone compared with just under a third (31 percent) in the 2010/11 survey.

Why the discrepancy in crime rates?

Analysis from the Office for National Statistics suggests there is a discrepancy between police records of crimes and the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW).

The CSEW works by "asking people whether they have experienced any crime in the past year," whereas police records are based on officers recording offences in their patch.

The differences between these methods may give rise to discrepancies, although the exact reason why police records appear to overstate crime reduction is a matter of controversy.