The National Mobile Phone Crime Unit and online auction site eBay have joined forces to cut out sales of blocked or barred mobile phones on the site.
News of the partnership follows a successful joint-operation to identify and arrest eBay users trying to sell blocked or barred phones which led to 13 arrests with 45 stolen mobiles seized.
Detective Chief Inspector Mick McNally of the NMPCU said removing the ability to sell stolen phones online was “a vital part of our campaign to halt handset theft – if thieves cannot sell the items, the drive to steal them will be significantly reduced.”
eBay’s Garreth Griffith said the company was “committed to keeping criminals off our site” adding that “eBay is the worst place to sell stolen items because of the open and transparent nature of the site’s operation”.
DCI McNally urged the public to register their mobile phones free of charge on www.immobilise.com which he described as giving police “the best chance of recovering stolen phones and arrest those who commit mobile phone crime”.
Immobilise was launched on the 12th January 2005 and is supported by the mobile phone industry through the Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum, the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit, the Metropolitan Police Service and 38 other UK police forces.