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News | 27 Feb 2020

Look Up, Look Out: Beat smartphone thieves with this one simple trick

Vodafone UK and the Metropolitan Police have launched the Look Up, Look Out campaign to make more people aware of how to protect themselves against smartphone theft.

Earlier this week, Metropolitan Police officers visited Vodafone’s Oxford Street store to launch the Look Up, Look Out campaign. They handed out information leaflets to passing members of the public, targeting those so engrossed in their smartphones they nearly bumped into our friendly coppers.

And that reinforced the point the Met Police wanted to make.

“People are more likely to be victims of crime if they’re distracted or unaware of their surroundings,” Inspector Ellen Lovatt told Vodafone UK News.

“So people need to be really aware of who’s around them, just by looking up occasionally and being cognizant of their surroundings.”

The Metropolitan Police's Inspector Ellen Lovatt launches the Look Up, Look out campaign at Vodafone UK's Oxford Street store

Credits: Alan Lu/Vodafone

Credits: Alan Lu/Vodafone
The Metropolitan Police’s Inspector Ellen Lovatt launches the Look Up, Look out campaign at Vodafone UK’s Oxford Street store

The Look Up, Look Out campaign was launched at Vodafone’s Oxford Street, Bond Street and Marble Arch stores. Shop staff will inform customers how to protect themselves from smartphone theft, how to use the security features on their phones, and what they should do in the event of a theft.

This includes keeping a record of your smartphone’s IMEI [International Mobile Equipment Identity] number, which is “like your car registration”, explains Inspector Lovatt. “It uniquely identifies your phone. You can easily access this on your keypad by pressing *#06#.

“It’s really important you have a note of this. If we recover your stolen phone, this is the first thing we will look at to try to identify the owner.”

Although worrying about smartphone theft is understandable, Inspector Lovatt was keen to emphasise that people shouldn’t be dissuaded from venturing out into the West End or the rest of London.

Figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, compiled by the Office for National Statistics, show that from April 2018 to March 2019, just 0.7% of all mobile phone owners in England and Wales reported a stolen phone to the police.

This compares to the all-time high figure of 1.8% recorded from April 2011 to March 2012.

If your phone is stolen or lost, then we have all the help and advice you need.

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