Police raids across Bexley in crackdown on mobile phone thefts
PUBLISHED: 09:41 20 March 2014 | UPDATED: 09:41 20 March 2014
Police are cracking down on organised criminals who deal in stolen phones today.
Co-ordinated raids are happening across Bexley and London as well as in partnership with police forces in the rest of the country and Europe.
About 80 mobile phones are stolen a day in the London and many end up being sold second-hand to people completely unaware they are buying stolen goods.
Shops are being signed up to the Met Police’s “safe seller” scheme to restrict the sales by accessing a property database to check if items are stolen.
More than 1,000 retailers in the capital are already singed up.
Patrols, ANPR checks and undercover licensing operations are also being carried out through the day.
Operation leader Commander Stephen Watson said: “These efforts should stand as a clear warning to mobile phone criminals that we are narrowing in on criminal activity and the organised networks they may operate in, who will soon have no place to hide within this country or Europe.
“We are tracking and understanding how their illegal practices operate with a view to putting them behind bars and reducing this large scale volume crime.”
Rob Wainwright, the director of EuroPol, said although phone theft may seem like petty crime it is often part of a larger conspiracy by international criminal networks.