Theft of mobile phones in Derry rises by 40%

Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Dave Thompson/PA Wire

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Mobile phone theft in Derry rose by 40% in Derry last year, it can be revealed.

Figures obtained by the ‘Journal’ show more than 700 mobile phones have been reported lost or stolen to the PSNI in the city over the last three years.

The PSNI say mobile phones are a big attraction to thieves and warn phone theft is most likely to happen in bars, nightclubs, restaurants or on public transport.

“Police in G District, which covers Foyle, Limavady, Magherafelt and Strabane and has a combined population of 226,000, are currently in possession of 860 mobile phones,” a PSNI spokeswoman said.

“Phones reported as lost are held for 28 days and if not claimed are disposed of accordingly.”

The PSNI have revealed that some mobile phones are linked to ongoing investigations.

The spokesperson continued: “Police are advising everyone who uses a mobile phone, tablet or similar hand-held device connected to the internet to consider downloading applications that could help find the device in the event it is stolen or goes missing.

“Items like iPhones, android phones, iPads and similar devices can be targeted in burglaries, street robberies and thefts from vehicles.

“They are very expensive to replace but using an application on the device that can help track its whereabouts could help return it if it goes missing.

“Some of these ‘apps’ are free and take seconds to download onto your device.”

The figures obtained under a Freedom of Information request show that in 2010/11 a total of 192 phones were reported as stolen in Derry.

In 2011/12 the figure stood at 183 while last year it rose to 257 - a rise of just over 40%.

A total of 632 phones were reported as stolen to the police in Foyle between January 2010 and April of this year and a further 83 reported as lost.

During the same three years a total of 57 phones were reported as stolen in Strabane while in Limavady the figure stands at 88.