The UK government plans to hook up with Sony and Apple in a bid to quash rising street crime. Mobile phones, MP3 players and the like have become the number one targets for muggers after a quick buck.
The Home Office wants companies who make these gadgets to spend more money on crime-prevention utilities so that people who own a mobile device are not so much of a tempting target for dark alley nasties.
"We already have a close working relationship with mobile phone manufacturers," said a Home Office spokesperson yesterday.
"John Reid is likely to approach Apple and Sony in the coming weeks to join this summit."
Crime fighting initiative
"During the coming week we'll be drawing up a list of other manufacturers who will be the best companies to include for the summit," the spokesman added.
In the last three months of 2006, reported mugging incidents went up by 8 per cent, with nearly 27,000 people falling victim to violent gadget-hungry muggers.
"New technology, lifestyle changes, new commodities and new gadgets mean that the criminals continually move on," John Reid told the BBC on Sunday.
"So when we defeat them on mobile phones, they move on to sat-navs and then on to iPods."
Mobile phones can be rendered useless by phone companies as soon as they are reported stolen. But this is not possible for other gadgets like iPods and GPS units. Increased security on these devices could mean password-protection options becoming more common, although this is hardly an ideal option.