The National Mobile Phone Register has been incorporated into the Police National Computer, which means that now the average policeman on the beat can identify stolen mobile phones within seconds of the theft. Although now only in use in England, it is possible that this idea may well take off in The United States as well.
Mobile phone thieves will be very unhappy to learn that now the details of more than 350,000 phones that are stolen annually can be accessed almost instantly instead of having to go through control room channels and time-consuming database searches.
It is estimated that each month of the year police officers carry out more than 25,000 searches, each one usually taking about 20 minutes to determine whether a phone has been stolen. Via use of the National Mobile Phone Register, that process can be reduced to a few seconds!
There is one little fly in the ointment of this basically good idea. In order to register a mobile phone device on the National Mobile Phone Register one must reveal the private information necessary to track the device should it get lost or stolen.
The new system is expected to help curb the rising crime of mobile phone theft. Although figures for the US are not available, some 350,000 handsets are stolen in the UK every year with more expensive smartphones the prime target for thieves.
Is the US ready for the National Mobile Phone Register? Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell on that one as Big Brother infringes a little bit more into our lives every day. Still, anything that cramps a criminal style seems like a good thing as Martha Stewart used to say and probably still does.