London Met Police See Rise in Phone Thefts at Music Gigs
Published on: 7th Dec 2009
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
The UK's Metropolitan Police have warned that they are seeing an increase in mobile phone thieves targeting attendees at music concerts. They believe organised thieves have begun to target gigs to pickpocket people using the crowd as cover for their crime targeting high end mobile phones.
Their victims may not even be aware that they have lost their phones, assuming them lost, so the scale of the problem may not be fully realised.
The National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU), situated within the Met. Police, is working with concert venues and local police in London and other parts of the country to combat this. They have put up posters at venues warning concertgoers to take care of their 'phones and made crime prevention messages available via Bluetooth at concerts.
The NMPCU has carried out a number of intelligence-led operations at events in London, which have resulted in nine arrests in the past two weeks. Other arrests have taken place at other music events across the country on related offences.
Detective Superintendent Nev Nolan, head of the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit, said: "We want all fans to enjoy their concert and to have a good experience. We are concerned that organised thieves are targeting concerts to steal phones from genuine fans.
"A lot of people like to use their mobile phones to film or take photographs of the concert, but will then return the phone to an insecure bag or pocket, where thieves are able to snatch it.
"When they discover it is gone, many will simply assume it is lost and simply cancel the SIM, without reporting it to the police.
Police have received support from the venues in tackling this problem, for example by displaying crime prevention advice at venues.