Mobile phone thefts have dropped by 50% in London, with smartphone kill switches being credited as the main reason for the trend.
Previously, smartphone thefts had been at an all-time high, mainly thanks to the high resale value most recent devices have and how quickly a sale can be made.
However, now that kill switches have become more widely used, thefts have dropped dramatically, spelling nothing but good news for consumers.
Research conducted in three cities; London, New York and San Francisco have showed a clean sweep in smartphone robbery numbers.
London was the most successful of all three, with mobile phone thefts dropping by 50%, San Francisco was runner-up with a 40% drop, whilst New York has seen a more modest drop of 25%.
All three are obviously considered successes, and with the increased implementation of mobile deactivation technology, we can expect to see these numbers drop even more.
Originally brought in by Apple back in September 2013, a smartphone kill switch essentially deactivates the smartphone’s ability to connect to wireless signals. This makes the device practically unsellable, giving thieves little benefit from successfully stealing a handset.
Both Samsung and Google have followed Apple’s suit by introducing the feature as well, making many brands of mobile phone much more secure from thieves.
In fact, the technology has proved so useful; California has passed a law stating that all smartphones to be sold in the state have to boast a kill switch by July 1st. This should prompt the rest of the manufacturers to jump on board with the technology or risk being alienated from the rest of the market.
To activate your smartphone’s kill switch, you’re required to ring your network provider, explaining that your smartphone has been stolen. Once reported and confirmed by you, your network will be able to deactivate the handset remotely in an instantaneous fashion.
Other features like the Find my iPhone app have also been a deterrent to thieves, giving users the ability to track their phone and pinpoint its location.
Whilst this trend is expected to continue, it will still be an issue for owners of older handsets which still have a resale value worth taking advantage of.
Of course, as these older phones become outdated and are replaced, it should prove rather pointless for thieves to target mobile phones.
However, as with many crimes, it’s unlikely to ever be completely eradicated. But in the long run, it’s incredibly unlikely to climb to the levels it once stood at.
Written by Luke Hatfield