back to article Don't buy that phone! It ATTRACTS CRIMINALS, UK.gov will tell people

Home Secretary Theresa May announced this morning that the government plans to publish a mobile phone theft index to help Brits make informed decisions about what handsets to buy, based on which is the least likely to be nicked by wrongdoers. The cabinet minister revealed the proposal in a speech sploshed with pre-General …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about sentences that deter this kind of theft, instead?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and by sentences I don't mean:

      "Oi You! NO!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      sentencing comes late on in the game

      Before you get sentenced, you gotta get nicked, and then found guilty. If you know the odds of that are small...

      One of West Midlands Police's main preoccupations in recent months seems to have been the difficult task of closing down hydroponics shops and securing "justice" for the owners and staff.

      Meanwhile the usual alcohol-fueled violence and destruction largely continues unabated.

      Evidence-based policing policy. Theresa May has probably heard of it, but the alcohol business donates lots of money to her party...

      1. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: sentencing comes late on in the game

        "Before you get sentenced, you gotta get nicked, and then found guilty. If you know the odds of that are small..."

        Aha! I knew there had to be a use for those "take photos/record audio at any time without consent" facebook app permissions had to be useful for something!

        ... I'll get me coat.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: sentencing comes late on in the game

        And, in the US, the oxycontin makers. Somebody has done a study and guess what, a surprising number of academics who are prepared to testify against marijuana legalisation are involved in research into prescription painkillers.

        Brewers and makers of heroin substitutes. Just the people who you would think have our best interests at heart when it comes to preventing people using stuff that grows in ordinary greenhouses and requires little post-processing.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: sentencing comes late on in the game

        Thing is it costs £40,000 a year to keep someone locked up. They don't care about cuts or they would take notice of that. Price of a new phone and whatever pure drugs the person wants still leaves a £39,000 saving. Tell them they have 3 months to get a job or they cannot have the drugs any more they will all be in work. (And loads of money will be saved which is supposedly what they care about).

        Plus it an obvious thing more cuts = more crime anyway. What they have done has achieved nothing so far.

    3. foo_bar_baz

      And meanwhile in the real world

      It only works if the risk of getting caught is high. Police are so swamped they don't have the time to follow up every phone, bicycle or laptop theft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And meanwhile in the real world

        "It only works if the risk of getting caught is high. Police are so swamped they don't have the time to follow up every phone, bicycle or laptop theft."

        Chicken and egg.

        If the chance of getting caught was the same, but the sentence was, say, 100 years no parole (EXAMPLE FFS), then the weighing up of immediate gain vs the worst outcome would surely have an effect?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: And meanwhile in the real world

          Yes it would mean a rise in armed robberies.

          The original Great Train Robbers got 30years - to "send a message to these sort of people"

          The message was, you might as well go in with a shot gun, since robbing some cash and killing a copper carried the same sentence.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: And meanwhile in the real world

            "The message was, you might as well go in with a shot gun, since robbing some cash and killing a copper carried the same sentence."

            They pretty much did. The train driver never really recovered form his injuries - and that's why the sentences were so harsh, not the money.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: And meanwhile in the real world

              The train driver died of leukemia several years later, at the typical age for somebody in that job at that time with that background. If you are going to hand out life sentences then the people who sold him the cigarettes he smoked.

              The sentences were because it was a robbery of government money - the driver was hardly mentioned at the time.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: And meanwhile in the real world

          Unfortunately evidence based crime policy (the stuff that is so unpopular with lawmakers because, Daily Mail) shows that criminals come from the following groups:

          The not very bright

          Drug addicts

          The very impulsive

          Grandiose narcissists who think they are cleverer and more important than anybody else

          Psychopaths who think everybody else is a stupid sheep who only exists to be exploited.

          You will readily work out that most of these people are poor at evaluating risk.

          The US belief in the death penalty has strangely not reduced the murder rate to zero. You might want to think about why.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And meanwhile in the real world

            That is a fair point.

            But....

            actually we need some real figures here.

            Say the total who mug (and extort the PIN in the Met's recent drive) and steal a phone are X.

            The breakdown of X will contain those who are in your list, but the question is, how many?

            Whereas you are right that the murder rate is not zero in the US in spite of the Death Penalty, (which personally I am against - I am NOT mandating for people who steal phones, NOR am I mandating 100 years no PAROLE - that was just an absurd example to get an idea across). However, what would the murder rate be, in the US, if the sentence was 10 years. Would it be more or less? What about 5 years?

            I am mortified to even be considered a Daily Mailite, my point being that if I was to go out and delibrately take a phone from somebodies open handbag, and I was subsequently caught and convicted, what would my sentence be if

            A. No convictions previously

            B. known but no convictions.

            C. 100th time.

            If the sentence at A was the same as C, would the occurence of C reduce considerably?

            Stealing is considered by society is set out as morally wrong. If we had NO sanctions, then we would expect the rate to go up. If you had life imprisonment for petty theft, it would go down, though as previously mentioned it is unlikely to go to zero. SO - are the current sentencing for stealing a phone optimum for the middle ground, ie putting chance theft off? Is it the same as stealing a car? The same as stealing a Million quid? (Taking the manner aside for now, ie Armed robbery) If not, there must be a list, either written or unwritten, that states that if your item stolen is less than 10K, then we will not put the same resources in if it was a Million quid, when all other factors are equal. If this is the case, then WHY is it the case?

          2. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: And meanwhile in the real world

            "The not very bright

            Drug addicts

            The very impulsive

            Grandiose narcissists who think they are cleverer and more important than anybody else

            Psychopaths who think everybody else is a stupid sheep who only exists to be exploited.

            You will readily work out that most of these people are poor at evaluating risk."

            Just add an expensive education at, preferably, Eton....

          3. Deimos

            Re: And meanwhile in the real world

            The not very bright

            Drug addicts

            The very impulsive

            Grandiose narcissists who think they are cleverer and more important than anybody else

            Psychopaths who think everybody else is a stupid sheep who only exists to be exploited.

            You will readily work out that most of these people are poor at evaluating risk.

            You had me until you got to narcissists and Psychopaths, you mean managers and BOFH's ?

            While managers are lousy at evaluating risk, BOFH's are master at calculating Risk - then making sure the resultant risk comes true for the manager.

        3. Greg J Preece

          Re: And meanwhile in the real world

          If the chance of getting caught was the same, but the sentence was, say, 100 years no parole (EXAMPLE FFS), then the weighing up of immediate gain vs the worst outcome would surely have an effect?

          Do you have a single example of where higher sentencing actually deterred crime? In the US, merely possessing a drug can give you a mandatory 5 year jail term, and there are parts of the country that will literally kill you stone dead for certain crimes - do those crimes happen any less frequently? Nope.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And meanwhile in the real world

            As the swirl of comments have noted, the magnitude of sentencing does not appear to have much impact on the commission of crime. Therefore it seems to me that the thought process of people about to embark of a crime must consider other criteria before deciding which way to go.

            The first and most obvious thought must be "Will I get caught?" If the thought process returns less than 50% likelihood of apprehension, then it would be worth a go.

            The second thought would be "Is the risk of a substantial sentence I MIGHT get, a viable trade off for the material gain I WILL get if I take the risk?".

            And finally, "I don't give a shit!".

            Looking at these three decision break points, I'd say that given (a) low chance of detection, (b) chance of minimal sentence, and (c) not caring (for a multitude of differing reasons) about the consequences, the chances of a person committing a crime stands at 66% IF that person has a disposition towards committing crimes OR 33% for a basically honest person.

            Recommendation: Build more prisons to cope with increase in population and expand police resources to cope with population expansion. You know it makes sense.

            We are NEVER going to eradicate crime regardless of the sentencing policy because of the simple overriding thought " It won't happen to me". trumps everything.

      2. Flywheel Silver badge

        Re: And meanwhile in the real world

        But all of those items are now high-ticket items (especially bike and laptop). Are our Police "service" now saying they won't even get out bed unless an item's got (say) a £5K ticket?

      3. Sarah Balfour

        Re: And meanwhile in the real world

        Due to the previous comment, my brain automatically blanked out 'is' in the opening sentence.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Phones will be stolen no matter what

      Some will be sold on or used, less desirable phones will be chucked in the canal.

      I can just see it now,

      "Give me the phone or I'll stab you"

      "Here, here take it, it's only a phone.."

      "Are you takin the piss outta me? Are you takin the piss, a f*ckin Win phone sh*t Nokia?"

      "It's very good please take it..."

      "F*ck you! here take this.." Handing he victim a roll of notes.

      "But there's £500, but.."

      "Shut it, no one but no one should put up with one of those, it's criminal, go and buy yerself an iPhone, you poor deprived bast*rd"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Phones will be stolen no matter what

        Nice thought.

        Someone coming along to rid me of a fast, large-screen phone with a superb camera and a two day battery life so I can replace it with something like the wife's iPhone 5S (you know, small screen and a battery that barely gets her through the afternoon, but costs twice as much).

        Still, who needs reality when you've got branding>

  2. AndrueC Silver badge
    Joke

    Theresa May announced this morning that the government plans to publish a mobile phone theft index

    What, like those efficiency tables?

    A <===== Least likely to be stolen.

    B <==== Probably won't be stolen.

    C <=== Careful now.

    D <== It'll be nicked within a few days.

    E <= It'll be nicked before you leave the shop.

    F < And they'll have yer arm off as well.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      I wonder if the scale is inversely proportional to how much of a beating you get from the average mugger for wasting their time when they discover how pants your phone is.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Happy

        Feeling pretty smug carrying my Nokia

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Coat

          nokia carriers...

          Nah, the muggers will beat you even more for carrying a phone not worth stealing. The beating is for wasting their valuable time.

          1. Steve Evans

            Re: nokia carriers...

            I doubt a Nexus 4 or 5 would interest these knuckle draggers.

            Lets face it, they're the same kind of zombie who would queue up for 3 days before a launch... They just don't have the money.

            They'll still be heading for the shiny shiny.

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: nokia carriers...

            But with a Nokia, you can beat them back with the phone

            1. Tanuki

              Re: nokia carriers...

              And with a Nokia it'll still be working well enough to let you call the Fuzz to report the crime after you've used it to beat the mugger unconscious.

          3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: nokia carriers...

            Seriously, an ex-colleague was mugged for her phone and the buggers handed it back and sent her on her way. Almost sporting if it wasn't for the rather unpleasant intent in the first place.

          4. Elmer Phud Silver badge

            Re: nokia carriers... doesn't mind the language it's the beating he don't need

            "The beating is for wasting their valuable time."

            Yeah but at least they can't take selfies with me and my battered face on my phone!

    2. Spoonsinger

      Re : - F < And they'll have yer arm off as well.

      So that includes any high street mobile phone shop selling one of their contracts then? (I just feel greasy even typing 'high street mobile phone shop').

  3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Old technology?

    "The most obvious and pressing example is the criminal opportunities provided by new technology."

    What about old technology - trrrrrsts can wander round with a sock filled with wet sand that will be completely invisible to modern metal detectors. Or they can stab people with an undetectable icicle (thank you Father Brown - I think) or hit us with a frozen shoulder of pork (well, perhaps not the un-Islamic trrrrsts - leg of lamb?) - what is our so-called 'Home' secretary doing to protect us against old-tech trrrrrsts and crims in our homes?

    1. Buzzword

      Re: Old technology?

      Hit us with a leg of lamb? Kids today already do that. It's called "shanking".

      1. Elmer Phud Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Old technology?

        Sorry, can only upvote once

    2. davemcwish

      Lamb to the slaughter

      It's been done in fiction

  4. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    How about spending taxes on educating morons on being careful rather than giving ministers and lackeys the fun of pouring over useless insurance stats and playing with valuable handsets?

    The number of idiots with bags wide open ( especially you ladies on the tube! ) showing all their tech goodies and wallets/purses, people staring blankly into space while holding their latest iPhone with just two fingers and the idiots who leave their phones on tables in public places while they lean over to another table to get something. Put it in your pocket! If you need to wait for a call, crank up the volume or vibrate for the next hour or two. Some ringtones are loud and obnoxious enough to wake the dead, you don't need to be fondling your phone 24 hours a day on the off chance of a call.

    No not everyone is a scumbag, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

    ( Don't get me started on the idiots to take their cash from ATMs and just wander away waving it about for 30 seconds before putting it in their pocket! )

    1. ukgnome Silver badge

      Dad? is that you?

  5. heyrick Silver badge
    WTF?

    And there have been reports that they could even use "malware" to commandeer vehicle systems via satellites

    Seriously?

    1. Roger Varley
      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        It was shown on the CSI, so must be true then.

        1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

          Pirates in Space?

        2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          That lady on Navy CSI is hot. Is she in the stash?

        3. Tom 35 Silver badge

          csi

          They also zoom in 2000 x on a reflection in a hubcap to capture your pin code.

          1. BrownishMonstr

            Yeah, didn't you know? CCTV actually records high def, sends it off to the local spooks, but only gives the user a low def version..

          2. Joe 35

            Re: csi

            They also zoom in 2000 x on a reflection in a hubcap to capture your pin code.

            =====

            I think you'll find a single pixel is sufficient :-)

    2. JaitcH

      Never heard of OnStar?

      That can perform several remote functions including tracking a vehicle and even slowing it down and bringing it to a stop.

      I guess ACPO wants their own custom version.

      Car rental companies and Repo(ssession) men also have remote stop features although they tend to use cell systems.

    3. Vic

      Re: there have been reports...

      > Seriously?

      Yup.

      Just like there have been reports of alien abduction, anal probing, and the Loch Ness Monster.

      Vic.

      1. The First Dave

        Re: there have been reports...

        Well now, Nessie is real enough; just ask George Michael about a.p.; and alien abduct.... <whoosh>

    4. Radio Wales

      Lets see plod chase them down...

  6. Wheaty73

    Prepare for the Government to be sued...

    So when Manufacturer A. starts seeing its sales take a nosedive because this mad government is telling people not to buy their phones, they won't be a teeny bit cross?

    Or Manufacturer B. going "oi, Manufacturer A's phones will get you mugged, buy ours!"...

    Or perhaps people just won't give a toss, like everything else this farce of a government does for our protection, it will just be ignored.

    1. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Prepare for the Government to be sued...

      To out it another way, this is a table of which phones best hold their resale value - so sales of the nickable phones will probably rocket

    2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Prepare for the Government to be sued...

      But that's what TTIP is for isn't it? Should we be looking out for a raft of new laws to further hasten the transfer of taxpayers' money into private pockets?

    3. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Unintended consequences

      > So when Manufacturer A. starts seeing its sales take a nosedive because this mad government is telling people not to buy their phones, they won't be a teeny bit cross?

      Given how little government officials understand (a) technology (b) people (c) criminals it wouldn't surprise me one little bit if the publication of the most desirables list led to an upsurge in demand for those phones.

      You can see the rationale: those phones get stolen most - therefore they *must* be the most desirable - therefore they are very fashionable - therefore I must have one. It may even go further: that having your highly desirable phone stolen becomes a badge of trendiness. Possibly even to the point where you don't wait until you want a different model before reporting it nicked: just to get a corporate replacement, or insurance payout.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prepare for the Government to be sued...

      Let's be honest, the most likely phone to get nicked is going to be iphones, and whatever phone teenagers are given (often also an iphone).

      Having a much nicked phone will be seen as a badge of desirability - which is kinda counter to the la-la land that May lives in.

      How about she gives a kick to the plod so that when someone has tracking on their phone, those plod get off their fat backsides and chase it down immediately? Since its likely that a crim will be nicking more than one phone, that would actually cut the crime figures more than waffling will.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prepare for the Government to be sued...

      "like everything else this farce of a government ........"

      Ha Ha. Better this farce of a government than the previous farce of a government!

    6. Radio Wales

      Re: Prepare for the Government to be sued...

      Is it reasonable to assume that, as people are expected to submit to being mugged daily by - not only - our own government - but also - by the US government as well, people might be getting desensitised to being mugged and accept it as just part of life?

      After all, defending yourself from attack is still bordering on illegal isn't it?

  7. Julian Taylor Silver badge

    Mobile Phone Theft Ratio

    Knowing how the state works it is probably not an index per se. More likely to be an apathy index of how likely the cops are to deal with your reporting that you,

    1) Lost your mobile

    (response: can't help - try your operator)

    2) Had it ... err .. stolen

    (response: can't help - try your operator)

    3) REALLY, truly had it stolen

    (response: can't help - try your operator)

    4) Someone hit me in the face with a baseball bat, raped my budgie and stole my iPhone

    (response: can't help - call 999 for an ambulance then call your operator and would you like the RSPB emergency budgie counselling line?)

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Mobile Phone Theft Ratio

      A downvote? I think somebody must have latent budgie-induced-trauma issues from their childhood.

    2. Alien8n Silver badge

      Re: Mobile Phone Theft Ratio

      This is dangerously near the truth...

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29053978

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Demographics

    And anyway, which phones get stolen will likely be at least as much a function of the demographics and lifestyle of their owners as it is to the model.

    1. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Demographics

      Probably the sort of lifestyle that involves waving it around with the screen on beacon-like in a poorly lit street.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Here's an idea....

    ...trying funding crime prevention a little more, not crime detection. Crazy eh?

    Y'now, those useless money eating things like, youth clubs, sports clubs, rehab clinics, homeless shelters, debt advice agency's, sure start centres, intervention teams, social services, adult education services, apprenticeship schemes.

    Still harder to get a pie chart saying "we may of stopped 10,000 criminals" instead of "we locked up 1,000".

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Here's an idea....

      " Here's an idea....

      ...trying funding crime prevention a little more, not crime detection. Crazy eh?"

      I know this is a crazy sort of off the wall idea that will be laughed at and treated with derision but what if they actually had policemen walking the beats they normally drive around in their cars?

      You know like in the olden days when crime was lower.

      And of course bring back birching for offenders and make prison sentences harder with rock breaking and no pay, telephone time, TV time or any food better than cold porridge.

      Well I meant the bit about beat coppers!.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Here's an idea....

        what if they actually had policemen walking the beats they normally drive around in their cars?

        How would they do their usual "you're walking funny in a hoody, so I'm going to drive alongside you at walking pace for the entire length of the street just to fuck with you" move if they aren't in a car though?

        I shouldn't complain though, a) they're probably reading b) at least I'm not black, which seems to mean you get the drive by followed by a stop'n'search.

        1. Vic

          Re: Here's an idea....

          How would they do their usual "you're walking funny in a hoody, so I'm going to drive alongside you at walking pace for the entire length of the street just to fuck with you" move if they aren't in a car though?

          The last "interaction" I had with the Police, they stopped to see if I was dead. When they found out I wasn't, they gave me a lift home.

          It's good to be an old fart sometimes[1].

          Vic.

          [1] Especially when you've been on the sherbert :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here's an idea....

      "Y'now, those useless money eating things like, youth clubs, sports clubs, rehab clinics, homeless shelters, debt advice agency's, sure start centres, intervention teams, social services, adult education services, apprenticeship schemes."

      Nulab tried that for ten years without too much obvious success, and as a result of the Cowalition's failure to make any worthwhile cuts the national debt is still rising by £100 billion quid each and every year (over £11m per hour).

      How much more money do you want to spend on schemes trying to distract the feckless and where will it come from?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Here's an idea....

        "How much more money do you want to spend on schemes trying to distract the feckless and where will it come from?"

        Take the money of detaining one young offender for 1 year.

        Now look at the price of running a youth club for a year, that takes 100+ kids off the street.

        You may be surprised.

        And it does work. The one I help run reduced the Anti social reports from 50+ in 1 year, to 0, that's right..ZERO.

        The flip side, we no longer have a community support officer..

  10. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

    Just the beginning

    Why stop at phones? How about a regular review on the "nickability" of all kinds of stuff along the lines of Which??. It could incorporate Amazon's buying analysis (people who nicked this also nicked... etc.)

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Just the beginning

      ..complete with a link to ebay so you can buy a stol^^^^second hand one for yourself.

      1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

        Re: Just the beginning

        Does that mean that as well as a 'watch' option there will be a 'wishlist' where potential sellers can browse customers?

    2. SonnyJimm

      Re: Just the beginning

      I'm waiting for a 'nickable' index for monetary denomination.

  11. Jagged.Shard

    Reducing theft of mobile devices

    Me: I'd like to report the theft of my mobile phone.

    Police: I'm sorry, we can only make a report of this as 'Lost in the street'.

    Me: No, it was stolen from my jacket pocket whilst sitting at a cafe.

    Police: We can only make a report of this as 'Lost in the Street'

    ----------------

    Laugh? This really happened!

    That's the way to reduce/skew crime statistics. I'm sure that the local

    crime figures for pickpocket type thefts are probably one of the lowest

    in the country.

    Way to go!!

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Reducing theft of mobile devices

      "Police: We can only make a report of this as 'Lost in the Street'"

      Now, now.

      Our overstretched and underfunded police farce have orders to tick specific boxes depending on yesterday's Daily Mail.

      If the only box left on the sheet to tick is 'Lost in Street' they get in to deep shit if they try to bugger with the expected/promised/'my bounus depends on this you bastards' results.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Reducing theft of mobile devices

        ".... orders to tick specific boxes.."

        One of the (many) issues around the failure to stop those 1400 kids being abused in Rotherham, that have been in our headlines all week, was that the agencies didn't want to record anything that would upset their figures. And that was for the most serious and horrible of crimes. So reporting someone nicking a phone isn't going to impress anyone if there are targets to be met.

  12. graeme_from_IT
    WTF?

    One Emergency Service ?

    "So in policing in the future, I believe we will need to work towards the integration of the three emergency services."

    WHAT - sorry guv'nor I'm the "emergency respondant with a speciality in cardiac arrests" and not the "emergency respondant with a speciality in counter-terrorism" - so if that guy with the gun and the machette gave you a heart-attack, then I'm your man, other wise - oops...

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: One Emergency Service ?

      It's the Paramedic that turns up to get Tibbles out of a tree using a semi-automatic that concerns me.

  13. big_D Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Most likely to be stolen ==

    coolest phone...

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Most likely to be stolen ==

      or just the most common phone in current use among those who are more likely to be in thief-friendly locations.

      Which means that the BLOODY BIG BUTTON phone that is used by the elderly who don't tend to go out on Friday nights or stumble around drunk on the streets will be the least likely phone to be stolen.

  14. DougS Silver badge

    Popularity list?

    The list of cars most likely to be stolen in raw numbers are the most popular, like a Ford Focus. Thieves might rather steal a $80K Mercedes, but there are fewer of those so fewer will be stolen.

    The same will be true for phones. No matter what Apple does with activation lock, the iPhone will probably top the list because a couple of models of iPhone will always top the sales lists for any given year. Samsung and other Android makers are spreading their sales amongst a much larger array of models, so any one will be well down the list.

    What good is a list that reads like:

    iPhone 5S

    iPhone 5C

    iPhone 5

    Galaxy S5

    Galaxy S4

    Galaxy S3

    Note 3

    etc.?

    Other than making Windows Phone and Blackberry owners feel unjustifiably smug in their purchase decisions, that is? :)

    1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

      Re: Popularity list?

      "Other than making Windows Phone and Blackberry owners feel unjustifiably smug in their purchase decisions, that is? :)"

      But, but -- we were told that the 'riots' were orchestrated by using BBM.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Popularity list?

        It's all sorted, nowadays you can do BBM on a stolen iPhone. Technology eventually catches up with consumer demand.

    2. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Windows Phone and Blackberry owners feel unjustifiably smug

      As in:

      Nobody wants to steal my Windows phone! Ditto my grey Clarks vinyl shoes, my North Face backpack stuffed with Cobol manuals, my bifocal glasses with one cracked lens, and my dandruff-flecked knock-off Barbour.

      It's the new normcore

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Popularity list?

      "No matter what Apple does with activation lock..."

      Doesn't seem to work because the phones can still be reactivated somehow and onsold.

  15. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Homosexual foreign cats reported to maybe use the ISS to hack cars!

    as title

  16. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    Failure of the imagination.

    With a still-large deficit and a record stock of debt, there will need to be further spending cuts, as even Labour acknowledge.

    Record stock of debt? SELL IT!

    I foresee the instrument of "Collateral Cop Obligations". It sounds good.

  17. OB1212

    Police forces tell us that recent rises in theft from the person, for example, were in part driven by the theft of smart phones by organised criminal gangs. These gangs targeted specific venues, like concerts and festivals, to steal smart phones on a massive scale. The phones were then often sent overseas where they are reactivated and sold.

    This is not news to most of law enforcement, this has been happening at MEN, O2 and Wembley for at least 6 years. Plod has just told the Home Sec to give her a credible line for next May - it is HISTORY

  18. Yugguy

    How about

    I kick the living crap out of whichever poor little scrote tries to nick my phone?

    Ah yes, I forgot, I'd be arrested for violating his human rights.

  19. The Grump
    FAIL

    Simple... go retro !

    Demand that manufacturers start reproducing those old cell phones the size of an Oxford dictionary, with the huge lead / acid battery. That was my very first cell phone. And they would be very hard to hide if stolen. Just a handset and a keypad - no user accessable memory, no fancy screen, no apps, just PHONE !

    I still want a cell phone with a rotary dial. It's sooooo retro !

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    If the government wants to reduce the national debt, why don't they just, erm, spend less money?

    I know it's a bit naive, but that's kinda what you have to do.

    They could stop giving so friggin' much of it to the EU and squiffing it away on foreign misguided military interventions. That would save a few quid.

  21. Daniel Bower

    Surely we need more data...

    I may be barking up the wrong tree but surely the theft rate of any given phone is a function of its popularity and nothing to do with desirability.

    I very much doubt (unless Ms May and Co have data to the contrary) that your average yoof out on a mugger spree goes up to their unfortunate victim and asks ''scuze me pal - what phone you rockin'?'. 'A Samusng E2600 - you poor old chap that's not even a smart phone. Sorry top trouble you, on your way...'

    I know of three people who have been mugged for their phone and the perps simply said 'Give us your phone or we'll knife you'. They find out the quality of the phone after the event.

    So, if there are 10m of phone X in use and only 200,000 of phone Y in use then phone X will come out top of the charts so the whole concept is flawed.

    It has far more to do with time of day, location etc than type of phone. Complete waste of time...

  22. John Savard Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Groan

    "They might use sophisticated devices to "grab" the security coding when the owner uses their key so they can use it themselves."

    What, electronic car keys don't use a secure challenge-response protocol?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh here we go again, more change of the police, schools and NHS because apparently only change can make it better, erm, make headlines. I can understand politicians wanting to change things, who wants to say: "I sailed this ship for 5 years and it was very uneventful, we didn't so much as once run into rough seas because I sailed us around them in plenty of time".

    The trouble is the great unwashed buy into this "The NHS / Police / Army / Schools / Other is broken and we need to reform it" rubbish. This constant change is killing our public services and costing us a fortune at the same time. How many successful businesses fundamentally reorganize themselves from top to bottom every fives year? Exactly none. Leave them alone for a bit to get their bearings, ten years should do it, and then carefully look at small areas where improvements could be made.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Absolutely, and I add, no one ever got good headlines in the Mail by saying that things are going quite well really.

  24. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    Alternatively

    You could keep your phone out of sight, and just use a bluetooth headset ?

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