Skip Navigation
Body fade

Mobile phones

Mobile phones have become more of a necessity than an accessory, making them an attractive target for thieves.

Whether you use yours for business or chatting with friends, you won’t want to lose the collection of important phone numbers and family snaps stored on your phone, so keep it safe.


  • Follow our advice to keep your mobile out of reach of opportunist thieves:
  • Don't leave your mobile phone on show in your car. If you have to leave it, make sure it’s secure and out of sight.
  • Don't bring attention to your mobile phone by leaving it on view on tables in pubs, cafes, restaurants and other public places. It has been known for thieves to distract mobile phone owners, place a magazine or other item over their phone and then scoop it up with the phone.
  • If you have a smart phone, think about activating the 'find my phone' app. It provides an accurate GPS location of the phone and gives the owner the option to instruct it to let off a loud alert even when in silent mode. Activating the app could help police trace your phone if it is stolen.
  • Don't leave your phone unattended in jacket pockets and bags.
  • Try to be discreet if you have to use your mobile phone in the street.
  • Make sure you lock the keypad using a PIN number when you are not using your phone. That way it can’t be used to make calls if it does get stolen.
  • Mark your phone, its battery and other accessories with your postcode using an ultraviolet marker pen. If your phone is stolen and later recovered by police this will make it easier to trace it back to you.

Smart phones

Smart phone owners encouraged to activate an application which could help police track down their phones if stolen.

Officers in Essex have been able to locate stolen iPhones and return them to their rightful owners by using an application which gives the current location of a phone.

The ‘find my phone’ app provides an accurate GPS location of the phone and gives the owner the option to instruct it to let off a loud alert even when in silent mode.

If your mobile phone is stolen

If your mobile phone is stolen you should call your service provider and quote the phone’s IMEI number. This is the International Mobile Equipment Identity number and can be used to isolate your mobile so no one can use it.

To find your IMEI number dial *#06# from your mobile phone.

Your IMEI number will appear as 14 to 17 digits on your mobile phone screen – this number is unique to your phone.

You can register your mobile phone and IMEI number at

This information is automatically placed on the National Mobile Property Register, which is searched regularly by all UK police forces.

Registering your details makes it more likely that you will become reunited with your mobile phone if it is recovered by police.

Was this page helpful?

This website uses cookies. By using this website, you are accepting our cookies policy and consenting to cookies being used.

Share with: