7/23/2010 10:47:00 AM
Recyclers to tackle stolen phones with new code of practice
Mobile recyclers including Carphone Warehouse, 20:20, Mazuma and Virgin Media have signed up to a new code of practice to stop stolen handsets entering the recycling chain.
The new voluntary code of practice will see the businesses who have signed up committing to eight principles, which have been agreed on in conjunction with the Home Office and the police.
The code of practice aims to create a minimum standard procedure for checking for stolen mobile phones and what to do if they are identified.
Recyclers who have signed up to the code of practice will be expected to check handsets against several databases, including the national mobile phone register, to ensure they were not stolen.
At least 100,000 handsets that have been reported stolen are recycled each year, according to Recipero, the company which provides information to the national mobile phone register.
If a recycler identifies a stolen handset they will report it to the police, an insurance firm or a network.
Crime prevention minister James Brokenshire said: ‘Tackling crime effectively is not just a job for government alone, action at all levels of society is needed to make a real difference. This new agreement is a perfect example of what this approach can achieve.’
‘By joining forces with the police, the mobile phone industry is closing a multi-million pound loophole that has been exploited by criminals and the industry should be congratulated. Alongside the impressive work on blocking stolen phones, this code will make mobile phone theft an even less profitable crime.’
Envirofone CEO Nick Brown said: ‘We’ve been working closely with the Home Office on this very confusing and important issue to limit the opportunity for criminals to profit from fraudulently obtained, stolen or lost mobile phones.
‘Envirofone’s primary concern is protecting the consumer and correctly dealing with phones that may have been stolen. Previously, there was no industry standard on this issue – which risked leaving consumers confused and without any payment for a phone. The new Code of Practice will help us communicate in a transparent way with our customers and explain why a phone may not be suitable for recycling.
‘Importantly, all mobile phone recyclers will now have to operate under this Code and consumers can rest assured that no one is profiting from stolen handsets, which unfortunately may have not been the case with some service providers in the past.’