Over half of all street robberies in the UK involve mobile phones, the latest Home Officecrime figures reveal.

The figures for the last three months of 2006 show more than 26,600 robberies were recorded during the period. That represents an increase of 8 per cent year-on-year. Overall crime figures fell slightly during the last quarter of 2006.

The continuing prevalence of mobile phone comes despite mobile industry and government action to disable stolen mobile phones on UK networks.

"Mobile phones are still involved in over 50 per cent of street robberies," Home Office Minister Tony McNulty said. "We have...worked with the mobile phone industry to ensure over 80 per cent of stolen phones are now blocked within 48 hours."

UK mobile users can get lost or stolen phones deactivated across all UK networks by reporting it to their network directly or by calling 08701 123 123.