All stolen mobiles blocked within a day

Line goes dead on handset theft...

Line goes dead on handset theft...

Network operators are blocking all mobile phones reported stolen on their network within one day, research reveals.

And 98 per cent of mobiles reported stolen are blocked for use across all networks within 48 hours, according to figures from the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum.

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said crime figures published this month show a nine per cent drop in robbery recorded by the police, compared with last year.

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Coaker added that as a mobile is stolen in more than half of all robberies, these figures show that joined up action by government, industry and the police is "beginning to bite".

The mobile phone industry was set a target of blocking 80 per cent of stolen phones in July of last year, as set out in the Mobile Phone Industry Crime Reduction Charter agreed between industry leaders and the Home Secretary at the time.

The government also introduced stiff new penalties for the reprogramming of stolen mobile phones in an effort to eradicate handset theft.