Gangs target smart phones in Nottingham city centre
THEFT from people in the city centre has risen by 50 per cent as thieves target expensive smartphones to sell abroad.
In 2012 there were 1,307 incidents – and 1,097 of these involved stealing a mobile phone.
The Post understands that some of these thefts were committed by gangs coming into the city specifically to steal phones.
Chief Inspector Shaun Ostle, from Nottinghamshire Police's city division, said: "Mobile phones are an easily accessible, high-value item, which many people take for granted.
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"They get left on tables, hang out of people's pockets or are left on view in open handbags, and we are seeing an increasing trend of people from different areas coming into Nottingham specifically to steal mobile phones.
"This is a national and international problem. The phones are often sold abroad."
Georgina Pearce, 19, of Lenton, had her iPhone 4S stolen last month.
She said: "It was a really horrible experience.
"I'm definitely not surprised that it's increased so much."
Operation Accelerate has been launched by Notts Police to tackle the problem.
Plainclothes officers will patrol crime hotspots and offer crime prevention advice.