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August 11, 2014

Londoners twice as likely to have electronics stolen from them

Individuals in the capital are targeted more often for tablets, phones and laptops, compared with the rest of the UK.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Electronic devices were involved in double the rate of thefts in London compared with the rest of the UK, according to data released by British police forces.

Freedom of information requests submitted by communications firm ViaSat UK revealed a third of thefts in London involved computers, smartphones and tablets.

Chris McIntosh, chief executive of the company, said: "[In London], as the wealthiest and most populous area of the country, there will be far more opportunities to take these items.

"The nature of people’s work and travel within the city means that they will both be carrying computers, tablets or smartphones more often and also be more at risk of theft when they do so."

Nearly a quarter of thefts in Manchester involved electronic goods, whilst in Liverpool and the surrounding towns it was a mere 15%.

Electronic devices were less commonly involved in thefts affecting companies directly, but were involved 71% of the time in thefts from a person, which includes offenses such as pickpocketing, and about half of robberies, in which violence is at least threatened.

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"As we live more and more of our lives electronically and online, so the amount of sensitive information held on electronic devices is increasing exponentially," McIntosh added.

"As a result, having such a device stolen isn’t simply a loss in itself: it increasingly opens up the potential of much worse to follow."

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