Thefts of mobile phones fall to lowest level for a decade
Mobile thefts peaked at 897,000 in 2008/09.
Mobile phone thefts in England and Wales have fallen to their lowest level for a decade, new data suggests.
Some 401,000 mobile phone owners had a device stolen in the year to March 2017, down from 446,000 in the previous 12 months.
The number, equivalent to 0.9% of all mobile owners, is almost half the total for 2006/07, when thefts were 796,000.
It represents a “statistically significant decline”, according to the Office for National Statistics, which compiled the figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales.
Mobile thefts peaked at 897,000 in 2008/09 (equivalent to 2.1% of mobile owners).
The figures also show that thefts of phones are most common among young adults.
Among 22 to 24-year-olds, 2.2% – roughly one in 45 people – had a mobile stolen in 2016/17. This is down from 4.3% in 2006/07, however.
Mobiles were involved in 32% of all thefts from the person in 2016/17, down from 51% in 2014/15.
Thefts from a person are defined as items taken from an individual using little or no force.
The average (mean) cost of items stolen during thefts from the person rose from £202 in 2015/16 to £221 in 2016/17, with the middle range (median) cost of items being around £100 in both years.
However, the proportion of more expensive items, valued between £500-£999, stolen also rose significantly compared with a decade ago, from around 3% of thefts from the person in 2006/07 to 16% in 2016/17.