Mobile phone theft

MQT on 2017-12-14
Session date: 
December 14, 2017
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Have you seen the report in the 23rd November 'Ham and High' newspaper, of the theft of a mobile phone by a moped thief?  The owner called 101, waited a long time to get through, and then gave the police the address of to where the phone had been taken, identified by a tracker device. The report states that the police did not act promptly and the phone could not then be recovered as the tracker went silent after 24 hours. This report is very similar to the previous one I raised with you by MQ, of my constituent who had his motorbike stolen, found where it was and reported this to the police who failed to act to recover the vehicle. Once, may be regarded as a misfortune; twice looks like carelessness. Is this a symptom of the consequences of the merged Borough command's poor response times; the failure yet again of the 101 system; or the inability of to allocate scarce resources effectively to catch an elusive moped thief?


Answer for Mobile phone theft

Answer for Mobile phone theft

Answered By: 
The Mayor

This incident was not a consequence of the new Basic Command Unit (BCU) arrangements. The response times for BCU Central North during the period this incident took place were actually slightly higher than the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) average.

The MPS have assured me that the decisions around this incident were appropriately made in line with their policy that prioritises resources based on risk.

The victim called police over an hour after the incident took place. The operator ascertained that the victim had used 'Find my iPhone' to locate the phone in a built up area of Islington. This only gave an approximate indication of where the phone could be located. In a densely urbanised area this isn't sufficient to locate the phone.

This incident was reviewed by Central North, supported by MPS Command and Control, just after the report was made. It was determined no unit should attend as the phone was not realistically retrievable and that the case be passed to the Telephone Digital Incident Unit.

This was not due to resourcing issues or response times but a carefully triaged risk assessment model whereby a telephone report and investigation was considered appropriate and proportionate.

The MPS have however identified learning on the basis that the victim should have been contacted and advised sooner. The MPS have assured me that this will be manged internally.