Westminster mobile phone theft

Your phone is most likely to be snatched in Westminster than anywhere else in London, according to Met statistics.

Westminster has the highest rate of phone thefts of all 33 boroughs, with around 5,911 reported incidents, over double the number of second placed Camden, with just 9.5 thefts for every thousand residents.

An average of 16 phone thefts a day occurred a day in Westminster last year. Bexley came out as the safest area with just 55 phones snatched.

Also ranking highly were Hackney, with 2,468 incidents, and Islington with 2,100 thefts in the same period. Both have a rate of around 8.8 per 1000 residents, far below Westminster’s of 23.96.

Meanwhile, neighbouring borough Kensington and Chelsea only reported 663 phones stolen, ranking 7th across all London boroughs, although it had a higher rate per 1000 inhabitants than Tower Hamlets, which has nearly double the population.

Westminster’s high figures are often attributed to the abundance of night life, bars and pubs, where smartphones are targeted by pickpockets and grabbed from tables as well as by thieves on mopeds.

High footfall areas such as Soho and Covent Garden are known hotspots, but similar social hubs in Islington and Camden recorded less thefts combined.

Green Smartphones, a smartphone comparison site with a focus on environmental sustainability, say that phone theft rose in the capital by 151% in 2021.

Its founder, Tom Paton, said: “It wasn’t surprising to see Westminster come in first place, however it was surprising how far ahead of second place the borough is when it comes to phone theft.

“The reason for this is Westminster has a thriving nightlife scene, with plenty of busy bars, restaurants, and pubs where phones can be stolen from unsuspecting patrons. No matter where you are in London, it’s important to never leave your phone out of sight in public, even for just a split second.”

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Billie Grace Ward.

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