Smartphone theft crime statistics UK

Smartphone theft is on the increase, especially for women and young people.

According to the Office for National Statistics 2011/12 Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) around 2 percent of mobile phone owners experienced a phone theft in the previous 12 months.

An estimated 826,000 phone thefts occured in 2011/12, compared to 797,000 in 2010/11.

With expensive smartphones ever more popular and in more use throughout daily life mobiles are more attractive to thieves and easier to steal.

Mobile phone theft victims were most likely to be children aged 14 to 17 or young adults aged 18 to 24 years. The victimisation rate of these groups was twice as high as the average (4 percent).

Women aged 18 to 24 were at highest risk of mobile phone theft with a frightening 1 in 20 experiencing a theft in the past year. An estimated 429,000 women experienced the crime in 2011/12 compared to 397,000 males.

In 2011/12 the proportion of theft from the person and robbery incidents involving a mobile phone increased to 46 percent from 31 percent the year previous.

Since 2003/04 the number of incidents involving a mobile phone theft has gradually fallen, reaching a low point in 2010/11 (despite a continuing increase in smartphone ownership) but has subsequently risen in 2011/12.

39 percent of mobile phone theft was when the phone was not in the owner’s possession at the time it was stolen.

Using the ONS crime figures for 2011-2012 has created this infographic showing the total numbers of mobile phone theft, types of theft, who commits them, and who are the victims. Also included are modes of theft, and other items that are stolen along with phones.

Smartphone theft in numbers infographic