London mayor Boris Johnson has written to major handset manufacturers — including Apple, Samsung, HTC, Sony and Nokia — asking for their help to curb the rise in street crime for smartphones.
Johnson wants the manufacturers to make it easy for devices to be rendered worthless if they are stolen by criminals from the members of the public.
“We need the companies who manufacture and supply smartphones to play their part and take this issue seriously. If we are to deter theft and help prevent crimes that victimize your customers and the residents and visitors to our city, we need meaningful engagement from business and a clear demonstration that your company is serious about your corporate responsibility to help solve this problem,” he said.
The letter goes on to ask the companies to work with law enforcement agencies on the issue.
“We hope you would support this objective. Customers and shareholders surely deserve to know that business cannot and must not benefit directly from smartphone theft through sales of replacement devices,” he concluded.
Thefts of mobile devices have risen massively in the past few years, with “theft from person” offences rising by 12% in the last year and mobile phone thefts accounting for 75% of this increase.