However, over the past couple of years the number of thefts involving criminals using mopeds or bicycles has increased dramatically.
The Met advises mobile phone users to be aware of their surroundings to reduce the chance of having their handset stolen, especially in high threat areas.
According to Scotland Yard:
If you need to call or use your phone on the street, look out for anyone on a bike or a moped near you. Look up, look out
Make it quick so you don’t become distracted
Don’t text while you’re walking – you won’t notice what’s going on around you
If that’s not possible, stand away from the roadside, close to a building or wall, so no one can come up behind you
Going hands-free can prevent a thief from snatching your phone out of your hand
Scotland Yard insists it has a specialist team, Operation Venice, tasked with targeting moped and bicycle crime.
They are also monitoring stores that sell secondhand electronics to prevent them from dealing in stolen phones.
The areas around Camden, Islington, Westminster, Hackney and Haringey have the biggest problems of mobile phone theft.
Other advice includes:
You must switch on your phone’s security features to protect your phone
Use the keypad lock so that thieves cannot immediately access your phone, or use the biometric authentication if your phone has it (finger print or facial recognition)
Your phone may have other security features you can use – these could allow you to wipe data, lock your handset, or prevent a thief from restoring a phone to its factory settings from another internet device
Consider installing an anti-theft app. These can be an effective way of helping police trace your phone and identify the thief