€2.5m worth of mobile phones stolen in 2016

Garda figures show two-thirds of all thefts and robberies involve mobiles being stolen

€2.5m worth of mobile phones stolen in 2016

Picture by Yui Mok PA Wire/PA Images

Stolen mobiles phones account for two-thirds of all thefts and robberies in Ireland, according to new figures released by Gardaí.

The figures show there were 5,703 phone thefts in 2016 - down 14% of 2015, but amounting to €2.5m worth of phones.

Garda Síochána Analysis Service (GSAS) says that two in five phone thefts happen on a road, street or footpath.

One in five phone thefts occur in pubs, nightclubs and other licensed premises, while three quarters of victims of phone theft are aged between 18 and 39.

However, Gardaí have also said that phone thefts are decreasing - saying 498 phones were reported stolen last March compared to 641 in March 2015.

The latest figures have been released to coincide with the launch of a new 'Streetwise' campaign calling for 18-39 year-olds to mind their personal property and possessions, and to plan their nights out.  

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the National Crime Prevention Unit explained: "We want people to enjoy their nights out and the best way to do that is to have a plan.

"Think about how you are getting to and from a location. Let someone know where you are going and when you’ll be back. Avoid walking alone and in dark locations. Never engage with drunk or aggressive people, use your brain not your fist."

He added: "Finally be streetwise, take care of your property, particularly mobile phones and purses or wallets. Mind yourselves, mind your stuff and have a plan.”