Mobile phone, iPod, MP3 player and handheld computer theft

by Crucible Multimedia

Currently 50% of all street crime involves the theft of a mobile phone, on 30% of occasions the mobile phone is the only property stolen. A mobile phone figures in 10% of all crime. 10,000 mobile phones are stolen every month in London, a quarter of these are during street crime.

The Police National Mobile Phone Crime Unit recommends MEND (Mobile Equipment National Database).  This is a free web and low-cost SMS online facility that allows owners of mobile phones and high value mobile equipment, such as iPods, MP3 players and hand held computers, to register their contact details and the intrinsic identifiers of the item, such as make model serial or mobile phone IMEI number.

This is the first, and currently only, national database which allows Police to instantly ascertain whether an individual is in possession of lost or stolen equipment registered on MEND.

The Police National Mobile Phone Crime Unit and MICAF (Mobile Industry Crime Action forum micaf) endorse this service, which is a free to the public.

At present, without conducting extensive inquiries, details of stolen property are usually only available to officers within a prescribed police force boundary, and details of property found in the street are only available to officers within a given police area. The MEND database addresses this anomaly allowing for fast repatriation of lost or stolen property.

This crime prevention initiative will assist in the recovery of lost or stolen mobile phones and IT equipment, preventing loss of important data and providing valuable assistance to Police in the arrest and detection of offenders.

Housed on physically secure servers at BT Ignite in Cardiff, information is protected using 128-bit encryption, equivalent to that used for most online banking transactions.

At the time of writing there are 8.5 million items registered on the database and this number is growing daily. Web registration is quick, easy and free - visit menduk and follow the simple instructions. MEND have recently introduced registration via SMS. Registrations by SMS cost 25p (inc VAT) plus the cost of sending the text message which varies depending on your network and contract/agreement. Text the word MEND followed by your imei number, first name, last name, postcode, a contact number (other than your mobile phone number) and your house name or number to 87222. SEND THE MESSAGE AS SHOWN BELOW INCLUDING THE SPACES AND COMMAS.

Example text message to 87222:

MEND 351234567891234, JOHN, SMITH, NW1, 02081234567, 22

If your registration by SMS is successful you will receive an SMS from MEND with a password and user id so that you can log into your MEND account at to update or edit it.

The processing of information relating to individuals held on MEND is compliant with the provisions contained within The Data Protection Act and associated legislation. Under no circumstances will personal details be passed on to third parties for marketing or associated activity.

For further information visit menduk

Chris Hayward, Adam Lindsay

National Mobile Phone Crime Unit

58 Sirdar Road, London, W11 4EG

Tel. 0208 246 0028

Reviewed January 2011

last updated : 21/01/2011

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