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3 August 2006 PR 06/93

Research identifies mobile phone theft ‘Top Ten’

New research by the Midlands Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice at Loughborough University has identified a mobile phone ‘Top Ten’ hit list, and urges consumers and the mobile phone industry to increase their anti-theft efforts.

The study showed that almost half of all mobile phones stolen in 2005 were Nokia. Sony Ericsson, Samsung and Motorola make up most of the rest on the mobile hit list.

Using data from over 100,000 stolen phone crimes in London, the Loughborough research team found that in December 2005, the Nokia 6230 was top on the most stolen list, followed by the Motorola Razr, the Samsung D500 and the Sony Ericsson K750i.

The inspiration for the study was the Home Office’s successful Car Crime Index, which prompted improved anti-theft designs in the car industry. The study, part of a project directed by Professor Graham Farrell which looks at designing-out phone theft, was published this week in the journal ‘Justice of the Peace’.

The research looked at crimes recorded in Greater London during 2005 using data provided by the police National Mobile Phone Crime Unit.

Jen Mailley, lead author on the study, said: “Mobile phone theft has been increasing when many types of crime have been falling for years.”

However the study’s authors caution that it does not necessarily show which mobiles are more crime-prone than others.

“The top ten charts are a step in the right direction though,” says Mailley, “because they empower consumers with information, which should stimulate anti-crime design efforts by the mobile phone industry.”

The study was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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Notes to editors
Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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