UK’s Crime Prevention Minister James Brokenshire announced a new deal with recycling companies under which they [companies] will use stolen handset database when accepting phones for recycling. The idea is to close a loophole that enabled thieves to sell about 100,000 mobile phones a year.
At the moment, about 90% of handsets stolen in the UK are blocked across all networks within 48 hours of reporting. This in turn makes them useless in the country, hence criminals often try to either export them or sell them to recycling companies.
Companies who sign up to the new code of practice will work with police and check the details of every phone against the National Mobile Phone Register, which is a database of all phones reported stolen. If the handset has been found in the database, the company will refuse to buy it and inform the police about the “incident.”
So far 20 mobile phone recyclers, or 90% of the industry, have committed to the agreement, including 20-20 Mobile, Anovo, Earthmobile, Eazyfone, EMC Recycle, Regenersis, Fone Hub, Greener Solution, Mazuma Mobile, Mobile Phone Exchange, Mobile Phone Recycling Organisation, Money for Your Phone, Redeem, Royal Mail, RPC Recycle, SHP Solutions, West One Technology, Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Media.