London

314 mobile phones 'stolen in London every day'

Some 314 mobile phones are stolen on London's streets every day, according to the Metropolitan Police.

IPhones account for about half of all stolen handsets and can be sold on for up to £250, according to the Met's gangs taskforce in Lambeth.

The unit, which aims to tackle street robbery within minutes of it taking place, said offenders were traced three or four times out of 10.

On Tuesday the Met launched a campaign to cut street robbery in the capital.

It urges people to take steps to protect their valuables at a time of year when, according to the Met, there is historically a rise in this type of crime.

Latest figures show the number of robberies and thefts in London increased overall last year, rising from 16,084 in December 2011 to 17,583 last month.

Met statistics showed 56,680 mobiles - 28,800 of those iPhones - were reported stolen in London between April and September last year.

Stop and search

This equates to 314 phones, including 158 iPhones, being stolen every day and accounts for about 70% of items taken in personal robberies.

Last month 9,751 mobile phones were stolen in London.

Det Ch Supt Simon Letchford said: "Having your personal possessions on show gives robbers a chance to make easy money.

"Just being conscious of where you are and being careful about when you display your valuables can help you avoid being targeted."

The gangs taskforce in Lambeth said using stop-and-search tactics they would track down the offender in about three or four cases in 10 - although the phone was not always recovered.

The Met also revealed that the number of cases of people being robbed for jewellery in London rose from 2,440 in 2009-10 to 2,761 in 2010-11 and 3,589 in 2011-12.

Police said young professionals out and about in the capital at entertainment spots or other public places were most likely to be victims of street robbery.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites