Reporting a lost mobile as stolen is a crime

Out-Law News | 13 Jul 2004 | 12:00 am |

It is illegal to report a lost mobile phone as stolen, the Metropolitan Police warned yesterday as it launched a new advertising campaign to crack down on the increasing number of false reports of stolen mobiles in London.

According to the Met, around 2,500 people a year file a report with the police that their mobile has been stolen, when in fact it has simply been lost. This false reporting is not only a crime in itself, but wastes police time and diverts attention away from genuine victims and criminals.

According to Commander Brian Moore, of the Met's Territorial Policing Crime Directorate, "many people who falsely report their mobile phone as stolen don't think they are in fact committing a crime and don't think about the consequences."

He warned that false false reports can over-inflate the levels of robbery in London and make the public feel unsafe to be on the streets. "My message is clear," said Commander Moore, "falsely reporting anything to police is a crime and we will deal with you."