Police in Redbridge have advised local residents to avoid being victims of mobile phone theft…by not using their phones in public.
Posts on Twitter, which were also embedded on the borough’s official website, told followers:
“Don’t be a victim of phone theft. Try not to use your phone in public”
“Don’t be a victim of phone theft. Don’t walk and text at the same time, you’ll be less aware of your surroundings.”
The advice is a low-tech alternative to the Mayor’s calls for handset makers to design theft out of their products by making it harder to use and sell stolen phones.
And it’s a much cheaper option for the Met than last year’s high-profile co-ordinated crackdown on known phone thieves and popular re-sale outlets.
But it does seem akin to advising the public to avoid being mugged by never leaving home.
Instead of telling people not to use their phones, perhaps Redbridge cops should start closing down branches of Carphone Warehouse on the grounds that if you can’t buy a phone, it can’t get nicked?
Update: Green Party AM Jenny Jones has said: “This is some of the most pointless advice I have seen. The reason we buy a mobile phone is that you are able to use it when you are out and about in public. What next? The police advising you not to have a phone in the first place? Surely the Mayor and the Met Police can come up with a better approach to tackling mobile phone crime?”