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Mobes & pheasants litter London's black cabs

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The back of a London cab remains one of the most frequent places for anxious or absent-minded travellers to mislay their mobile.

Londoners lost an average of three mobile for each London taxi in the last six months, adding up to a total of 55,843 phones for the 21,729 taxis plying their trade in the UK's capital. A survey by mobile device security outfit Credant Technologies, based on a poll of 300 London cabbies, estimates 6,193 other electronic devices (laptops, iPods and memory sticks) were lost over the same period.

Credant makes the obvious point that mobile devices ought to be protected by encryption, especially since more sophisticated next generation smartphones are capable of storing more information.

The survey of licensed cab drivers took place in New York and London at the same time. The poll uncovered evidence that Londoners are becoming nearly as work-obsessed as residents of the Big Apple.

London cabbies report that passengers use about half their time (44 per cent) during a ride to catch up on work, either using their phone to make a call or sending an email. Taxi drivers claim four in five punters are reunited with their lost mobiles. In New York, two in three cabbies said they handed errant phones into depot managers at the end of their shifts.

Mobiles weren't the only goods left in the back of cabs. A sawn-off shotgun, a couple of kids, 12 dead pheasants, two dogs, one cat, toilet seats and funeral ashes were among the stranger items found in the back of taxis.

We trust mockney director Guy Ritchie was successfully reunited with his shooter, children and pheasants following the completion of filming of his latest caper film, RocknRolla.

Taxi drivers also discovered false teeth, artificial limbs, condoms and a bra in the back of their cabs. ®

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