Protecting Your Mobile Phone
Thousands of mobile phones are stolen each year many during street robberies, help us to help you keep yours safer and reduce the risk of being a victim.
Here's some top tips for keeping your phone safe while out and about, followed by a few Frequently Asked Questions :
Only make essential calls in the street. Using a mobile phone in a busy area advertises the fact that you have a piece of valuable property and while talking on the phone you are distracted and not aware of who might be watching you or who might be a potential thief. Use them out of public view and somewhere where you can see what it happening around you.
Many mobile phones are stolen in places like pubs and nightclubs when they are left on a bar, table or on a nearby seat. Open handbags also prove tempting for thieves, as do carried rucksacks, coats left hanging on chairs and phones left unattended in vehicles and other places.
Security mark your phone with a postcode and house number using an ultra-violet pen. The best place is underneath the battery near to the SIM card and on the back of the battery.
A mobile phone can be identified through two numbers:
- The phone number unique to the SIM card.
- The IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number which is unique to the phone handset.
Currently when police take crime reports the SIM card number is recorded only. The victim then contacts their phone network provider. The policy is then to send a blocking signal out to the SIM card rendering it useless. Criminals have picked up on this and they discard the SIM card straightaway after stealing the phone. They are then left with a handset that can be sold on in a pub or to a local dealer who then only has to buy a legitimate SIM card and the phone is once again operational with no way of detection.
However it is possible for any person to find out the IMEI number of a handset by putting the following code into the phone *#06# (star, hash, zero, six, hash). This means that if Police were to record the IMEI number then we would have a chance of detecting persons using stolen handsets.
Police are now urging mobile phone users to key in the *#06# number and record their IMEI number so in the event of the phone being stolen the police have a chance of arresting a person who may subsequently use the handset. IMEI numbers will now be recorded by the Police and checked against suspected stolen mobile phones.
Also see : The Government's Mobile Phone safety website : www.immobilise.com. *
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most asked questions and a few simple steps that you can take to protect your mobile phone.
Q. Does my mobile have any identifying mark?
A. Access the personal IMEI number by keying *#06# the 15 digit serial number will appear on the screen. Make a note of the number and register the details with your operator, in the event that your phone is stolen you report it to you operator who should then be able to bar the SIM card. This number will also help the Police to trace the owner quickly. Always use your mobile's security lock code or PIN number.
Q. Can mobile phones be security marked?
A. Yes they can, security mark (in permanent form) the battery and phone with your postcode and street number or the first two letters of your house name. The permanent marker will resist general wear and tear, however try to mark your mobile in areas subject to the least amount of handling. Hologram security labels can also be affixed to a clean grease free surface on your mobile. Place them in a high profile position to act as a deterrent to potential thieves.
Q. I need to use the mobile phone in public places, what else can I do?
A. When using your mobile in public, be aware of your surroundings and do not use it in crowded places or where you feel unsafe. Avoid displaying your mobile where it is in public view, don't hang them on trouser belts or on your wrist. Keep it with you at all times and do not leave it unattended such as, supermarket trolleys, passengers seats in cars or in the top of opened handbags.
Street robbers are cowards, help us catch a coward, if you know who has taken your mobile, or have any information about anyone involved in stealing mobiles, please call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or go to the Crimestoppers section.
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