Every year, hundreds of thousands of mobile phones are stolen in the UK. Young people have been especially vulnerable to mobile phone robbery.

Current crime statistics reveal that a mobile telephone is stolen in about half of all street crime and in approximately a third of cases it is the only property stolen.

However, there are steps you can take to prevent your phone being stolen, and new laws mean service providers can now block a stolen handset in the same way a stolen credit card can be cancelled. You can also register your phone so that if it is lost or stolen and recovered, it may be returned to you.

So if the worst should happen make sure you have adequate insurance cover


  • Always use your phone's security lock code or PIN number.
  • When using your phone, be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
  • Only make essential calls in the street. Using a mobile phone in a busy area advertises the fact that you have a piece of valuable property and while talking on the phone you are distracted and not aware of who might be watching you or who might be a potential thief. Use them out of public view and somewhere where you can see what is happening around you.
  • Many mobile phones are stolen in places like pubs and nightclubs when they are left on a bar, table or on a nearby seat. Open handbags also prove tempting for thieves, as do carried rucksacks, coats left hanging on chairs and phones left unattended in vehicles and other places.
  • Avoid wearing your phone where it is in public view.
  • Keep it with you at all times and do not leave it unattended.
  • Do not give your mobile phone to strangers who ask to use it.
  • Security mark your phone with a postcode and house number using an ultra-violet pen. The best place is underneath the battery near to the SIM card and on the back of the battery.

If you know who has taken your mobile phone, or have any information about anyone involved in criminal activity, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

As well as good security you will also need decent mobile phone insurance cover.


If your phone is stolen, report your number to your network operator and the police as quickly as you can - the handset can then be barred on all networks and will be useless to criminals. Even if the SIM card is changed, the phone will no longer work on any UK network.

Mobile phone operators have created a single number for victims of mobile phone theft or robbery to call when they want to block stolen phones. The number, 08701 123123, is for all networks and has a recorded message which will let callers know which number they need to phone for their particular network. When you report the crime you will be asked to call your service provider to block the phone, if you have not already done so.


Write down these details about your mobile phone and keep them in a safe place, separate from the phone:

  • Fascia details/model details
  • The phone number
  • PIN number (the number you punch into to unlock the phone)
  • Serial/IMEI number

The serial number/IMEI number, which is 15 digits long, can be found on most phones by keying *#06# or by looking behind the battery.


Insurance cover for your mobile phone is an essential part of your security measures, to protect it.