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Met to start SMS bombardment on mobile phone thieves

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Mobile phone thieves in London may soon be under text message bombardment from the police.

In a scheme similar to one currently being tested in Amsterdam, the Met is considering sending SMS messages round the clock to stolen handsets in the hope of rendering the phones useless.

According to police, the idea has been bandied around since Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens saw the scheme in operation in Holland.

"The Metropolitan Police Service is always interested in finding innovative ways of tackling crime, particularly street crime, which causes so much misery to victims," said chief superintendent Trevor Pearman.

"We've listened to what our police colleagues in Holland have told us, and we're keen to see whether it could be of use here in London."

The Met have yet to iron out the finer details, but in Holland the following message is sent to a phone as soon as it is reported stolen:

"This device is pinched. Purchase or sale is an offence - the police".

This same SMS is then sent every three minutes, presumably until the thief is suitably annoyed or goes mad.

Around five hundred mobiles are stolen in Britain every day. ®

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