Around 500 mobile phones are stolen in Britain every day.
A home office report gives the following figures from studies done in the year 2000:
The BCS (British Crime Survey) provides an estimate of phone thefts against those aged 16 or more. It suggests there were about 470,000 phone thefts (including attempts) in 2000 originating from a number of different offences, robbery one of them. On the basis of figures from six police forces extrapolated to England and Wales, there were an estimated 330,000 offences involving phones recorded by the police.
Early last year Police in Amsterdam started to tackle the problem of Mobile phone theft by bombarding the thief with text messages.
As soon as a phone is reported stolen an SMS message is sent every 3 minutes stating:
"This device is pinched. Purchase or sale is an offence - the police",
In a recent court ruling, theives who steal phones in a mugging attack may now receive up to 5 years imprisonment.
Some say that this is a bit harsh but if you've ever been the victim of a mugging and had personal property stolen you will understand how distressing it is.
Personally I recommend another form of punishment -
Make the thieves listen to 'funky new ringtones' continuously for 2 months 24*7.
After that they will not want anything to do with mobiles!
[ Update 30.1.02 - Someone has today been sentenced to 4 years imprisonment ]