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Leeds tops table for number of mobile phone and tablet thefts

Friday, May 29th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Leeds is the city where you are most likely to have your mobile phone or tablet stolen.

Data from gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble showed that almost a third of claims across the UK’s 35 biggest towns and cities came from Leeds.

The Yorkshire city accounted for 28.6% of the almost 30,000 theft claims received by the company between October 2014 and March 2015.

Belfast is second on the list, making up 11.9% of claims, while 11.3% of claims were made in London.

The other cities and towns that make up the top 10 are Preston, Salford, Bradford, Brighton, Milton Keynes, Manchester and Northampton.

The city where you are least likely to have your phone stolen, according to the data, is Swansea, which accounted for 1.6% of claims.

Stephen Ebbett, Protect Your Bubble’s global director, said: “There are cities where mobile and tablet thefts spike well above average, but incidences of theft are actually dropping year on year.

“Only 6% of the claims we received in this six-month period were for thefts, down from 9% the year before, and down from 11% two years ago.

“The police have improved preventative measures, and gadget owners are increasingly cautious about when and where they use their mobiles in public.”

'Shock charges'

A survey of UK adults who have had their mobile phone taken – also carried out by Protect Your Bubble – found the average stolen phone to be worth £206.

It also found that almost a quarter (24%) of phones stolen are worth more than £300.

More than half (53%) of mobile phones are swiped when they have been left unattended, even though 13% of these are locked away.

The most common place for a phone to be stolen is a pub or bar (25%) followed by workplaces (14%).

Almost half (47%) of stolen mobiles are taken from individuals.

Of these, more than a quarter (26%) are taken from coat pockets, 12% from people’s hands, 12% from back trouser pockets and 11% from front trouser pockets.

The research revealed that 16% have had a phone taken while walking down the street, 3% while shopping and 11% on the bus or train.

Mr Ebbett added: “If the worst happens and your phone is stolen, call your airtime provider and block it as quickly as you can.

“The networks have now all agreed to cap shock charges for unauthorised calls on stolen devices at £100, but people are only covered if they report their phone stolen within 24 hours of a theft and, in any case, this change has yet to be actioned by all the networks.”

He said a good insurance company will replace a stolen handset and cover unauthorised calls even if the phone is reported beyond the 24-hour time limit.

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