Every year, thousands of people across Westminster have their phones stolen. It’s one of the worst things that can happen – losing your handset, your personal information, and even your pictures. Unfortunately, it looks as though it’s getting worse…
Get Phone Repairs has used data obtained from the Metropolitan Police Service to find out exactly how many phones were stolen in Westminster over the last five years. Delving into the figures, we’ve found that 2022 saw a huge leap compared to previous years.
How many phones were stolen in Westminster in 2022?
Westminster has seen a surge in phone thefts across the city as the number of recorded incidents soared in 2022.
According to our data, there were a total of 25,902 phone thefts recorded in Westminster last year, up 111.2% since 2021. In fact, phone theft has been on the rise in the city since 2020, with numbers rapidly increasing over the last year.
The latest 2022 data shows that:
- £9.2 million worth of phones were stolen in Westminster.
- On average, 71 phones were stolen in Westminster every day.
- 1 in 10 Westminster residents had a phone stolen in 2022.
The number of phone thefts in the city hasn’t quite returned to the five-year high we saw in 2019, but with the number of recorded incidents climbing each year, it might not take long.
Don’t want to be one of our phone theft victims? Check out our guide to stop thieves from stealing your mobile phone to keep your hands on your handset.
phone thefts in 2022
increase since 2021
worth of phones stolen in 2022
per thousand people
What about other London Boroughs?
|3||Kensington & Chelsea||3,293||£1,169,015||21.09|
|10||Hammersmith & Fulham||1,938||£687,990||10.47|
The rise in phone theft can be seen across London, but it looks as though Westminster saw the biggest change.
Westminster had the highest number of phone thefts in 2022 with 25,902 reported incidents – that’s 28.4% of all London phone thefts.
The value of those handsets is a staggering £9.2 million.
Camden came in second with 8,326 phone thefts that had a value of £2.9 million. Kensington and Chelsea came third with 3,293 thefts at a value of £1.2 million.
The safest London borough was Bexley with a grand total of just 55 phone thefts for the entire year. Those handsets were worth a total of £161,880. That’s still a lot of phone thefts, but it’s nothing compared to the worst-hit boroughs.
Elsewhere, the London Underground proved to be a popular place to nab mobile phones, with 3,704 phone thefts worth over £1.3 million. In fact, there were more phone thefts on the tube than the entire UK rail network.
Check out our detailed London phone theft statistics for more info.
What about other UK cities?
London was obviously the highest with its 91,103 reported thefts accounting for 67.4% of the entire UK total. However, with varying populations, it’s difficult to rank the cities accurately.
Instead, we ranked the major cities across England and Wales by how many phone thefts there were per thousand people.
Again, London came out on top with 10.35 thefts per thousand people, while Manchester clinched the #2 spot with 7.06. Doncaster came in third with 5.47 followed by Liverpool with 4.58 and Newcastle with 3.93 to round out the top five.
Get Phone Repairs founder Ryan Leston said: “We’re seeing a huge rise in mobile phone theft across the UK. Thousands of mobile phones are stolen in cities across the country, most commonly through pickpocketing and table surfing. Police forces all over the country are backing local initiatives to tackle this rising crime, but the best way to avoid being part of our stats is to take preventative measures. Avoid using your mobile in crowded areas and you’ll stand a much better chance of hanging onto it. Thieves are far more likely to target people they know have high-end devices. So, keep your smartphone out of sight.”
What about the rest of the UK?
As you might expect, phone theft is on the rise across the whole country. There were a total of 135,147 phone thefts in the United Kingdom in 2022.
The value of those stolen handsets came to over £47 million.
National figures reached a low point in 2020 with the total number of reported phone thefts reaching just 89,252. However, it’s been on the rise ever since, with numbers increasing by 35.9% last year alone.
Here’s how the individual countries fared:
- England racked up 133,464 phone thefts in 2020.
- Northern Ireland saw a more modest 1,003 phone thefts.
- Wales saw even less – just 680 phone thefts all year.
Note: Police Scotland refused to supply data to our study.
Again, we chose to look closer at the figures, using our PTI to more accurately compare the countries. Even then, England comes out on top with 2.81 thefts per thousand people. Northern Ireland had a PTI of 0.53 while Wales saw just 0.2 phone thefts per thousand people.
For more information, check out our full UK phone theft stats.
All our UK phone theft data was obtained via a series of Freedom of Information requests, submitted to every UK police constabulary. Our Westminster data was obtained directly from the Metropolitan Police Service.
Phone Theft Value
We calculated the cost of phone thefts in Westminster by taking the total number of incidents in each year and assuming a minimum of 1 phone was stolen. We multiplied this by the average cost of a mobile phone, which was found to be £355.
Thefts per Thousand People
Populations differ from city to city, so we needed a way to normalise the data for ranking purposes. When ranking various UK cities, we take the total number of phone thefts in a given year, and divide that by the population. We then multiply the figure by 1000 to show how many thefts there were per thousand people.
Several UK constabularies refused to provide data. These were: Hampshire Constabulary, Police Scotland, Staffordshire Police, Sussex Police, Thames Valley Police, and Wiltshire Police. Average and per mille figures exclude areas where data was not provided, using an adjusted population to arrive at reliable figures.
Our full UK phone theft data can be found here.