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July 23, 2010

UK government cracks down on recycling of stolen mobiles

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by Darren Allan

Once a mobile is stolen, its owner generally realises quite quickly, and the handset can be blocked rendering it useless to the thief.

Although not quite, as the mobile can still be sold on to a recycling firm, who can then (unknowingly) export them for sale and use abroad. Such mobile phone theft is actually pretty big business.

As a result of this, the government is introducing a new code of practice whereby the phone recycling firms will have to check any mobile offered to them against the National Mobile Phone Register, a database of stolen phones.

The BBC reports that 90% of the mobile phone recycling industry has adopted the scheme. 100,000 mobiles are stolen and recycled every year in the UK, according to PC World which cites statistics from Recipero (via the Home Office).

Another new trend to watch out for in terms of mobile theft is gangs of thieves operating at music gigs, removing phones from the back pockets or bags of the unwary.

Story link: UK government cracks down on recycling of stolen mobiles

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