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Mobile phone theft is far worse than we thought

1.3m stolen handsets and 600,000 dropped down the toilet

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Far more mobile people have had their phone stolen in the last year than reported crime figures suggest.

That's one of the main findings of a study by market research firm Continental Research which reckons 1.3 million Britons had their phone pinched in the last year, with teenagers in particular falling prey to theft. The latest Home Office statistics, which are based on crimes reported to the police, estimate 700,000 phones are stolen annually.

Continental Research's figures come after a survey of 2,000 people, from which it concluded four per cent of people have been victims of mobile theft over the last year. Londoners are twice as likely to have their phones stolen as individuals from other parts of the country, the study suggests.

The survey, which was released yesterday, found theft is not the only mishap that phone owners are suffering. Last year an estimated 600,000 dropped their mobiles down the loo, 400,000 dropped it in a drink and 200,000 found they had accidentally put phones in their washing machine.

Oh dear.

Added to an estimated 2.9 million phones that broke over the last year and 1.6 million lost handsets, the survey points to a buoyant market for mobile handset replacement.

Quite apart from the various mishaps reported, just over one in 10 owners surveyed by Continental Research are either definitely or almost certain to upgrade their phone in the next 12 months. ®

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