Brighton hotspot for mobile phone theft
The claims data showed that people in Brighton are 4.4 times more likely to have their phones stolen while those in Manchester are 3.8 times more likely.
Mobile phone owners in Leicester and Belfast are three and a half times more at risk of falling foul of thieves, while Londoners are 3.4 times more likely to be victims.
Stephen Ebbett, director of Protectyourbubble.com, said: “Mobile phones are easy pickings for thieves who know that people talking or messaging are distracted and unaware of what’s going on around them.
“A big concern is that claims from people who have had phones snatched by thieves that have mounted the pavement on bicycles and motorcycles are growing.
“Being a victim of mobile phone crime can be distressing, inconvenient and the phone expensive to replace, particularly smartphones which can cost upwards of £400.
“Many expensive handsets come ‘free’ with monthly contracts, so people may not be aware of their true value.
“But when they try to buy a replacement they soon realise the true cost of them. Mobiles are expensive gadgets that should be properly insured.”
The data also shows that women should be especially cautious, as females (53%) are more likely than men (47%) to have their mobiles stolen.
Police figures suggest that as many as 300,000 phones are stolen each year from across the UK as a whole.
However, Protectyourbubble.com believes that 63% of people are carrying uninsured mobile phones, and are less likely to report them if they are stolen.
Which means that the actual number of phones stolen could be much higher.
Ebbett added: “As for keeping yourself and your phone safe, try to keep your mobile out of sight when out and about.
“If you have to make a call in public, do it with your back to a wall so you can see what’s going on around you and so the phone cannot be snatched from behind. If you’re in a pub or restaurant, don’t leave your phone on the table where it can be easily snatched by opportunist thieves.
“Write down the phone’s IMEI number, and use an ultra-violet pen to mark the handset and battery with your postcode and house number. Make use of the phone’s security lock or PIN system.
“If your phone is stolen, block the phone with your airtime provider as quickly as possible and report the theft to the police, asking for a crime reference number.”