Your Family - Mobile Phone Theft

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Children of school age are more likely to be victims of mobile phone theft compared with adults.

And it's an even more depressing fact that some of these thefts involve threats or actual violence.

Quick tip:

What happens if you type *#06# into your mobile phone? Try it now. Your IMEI number should be displayed, the IMEI number is a unique 15-digit serial number - take a note of it, because if your mobile gets lost or stolen, your mobile phone operator can use it to bar the handset.

However, there are ways in which you can protect yourself. For a start, around a quarter of mobile thefts happen when the phone is either being used or can be seen by others. The figures are far higher in city centres, so if you are out in the open in a busy place you should stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.

Some good advice is that you treat your mobile phone like you are holding a £100 note in your hand!

Did you know?

• 90% of offenders are male and 80% of victims are also male

• The majority of robberies are committed by offenders working in groups

• The peak age for offenders is 16

• The peak time for theft of mobiles belonging to people under the age of 18 is between 2pm and 10pm

• For over 18s the peak time for theft is between 10pm and 6am

• A mobile phone is stolen around every three minutes in the UK

Using this knowledge you can understand the situations in which you could be more vulnerable to mobile theft.

Also mark your phone with your postcode and street number (see property marking) and register your phone with the mobile phone company, this may allow them to block the phone if it is stolen. You can also use your phone's security lock code or PIN to stop anyone else using it. for more information about activating your PIN, refer to the manual that came with your handset.