9/2/2009 1:07:00 PM
Police site linked to mobile database
Extra funding has been allocated to police to reduce the time spent dealing with mobile phone crime.
Home Office minister Alan Campbell has announced £250,000 will be made available to link two existing databases, giving front line police officers easier access to information on stolen phones.
Details were previously only available through the national mobile phone register (NMPR), but will now be added to the police national computer (PNC) – a database that is more widely used and can be accessed via a radio call, rather than a computer.
The national mobile phone crime unit (NMPCU), which is part of the Metropolitan Police, was established in 2003 in response to increased
mobile phone crime levels.
NMPCU senior intelligence analyst Roni Garcia said: ‘We are making the necessary arrangements to allow NMPR access via the PNC.
‘At present, users require internet access to log on; being able to access it via the PNC provides alternative means to use the NMPR and maximises the opportunities available to officers dealing with mobile phone crime.’
According to the latest figures collated by the NMPCU, a mobile phone is stolen in around half of all street crime.
Approximately 25,000 searches are carried out each month on the NMPR. The site is also linked to website Immobilise.com, where consumers are encouraged to register their phones’ details so they can be shared with law enforcement agencies.
In the last six months of 2007, 90,910 searches were made on the NMPR, resulting in 18,086 matches (21.5%).
Of those searches, 44,681 were from stop and search, resulting in 8,505 matches (19%), meaning that either a handset was identified as stolen, or the rightful owner was correctly identified.