Demand for the latest must-have gadgets is driving a rise in thefts according to a senior South Yorkshire police officer.
There were 1,888 ‘thefts from the person’ across South Yorkshire last year, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics, representing a rise of 3 per cent on the previous year.
And Deputy Chief Constable Andy Holt, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “One of the key drivers of theft from the person is if we get the latest iPhone or tablet coming out, we will tend to see crime related to that latest gadget.
“However, another factor can also be the arrival of people coming to study at university in Sheffield. There is more work to be done.”
The crime figures for England and Wales – released this week – show a 1 per cent drop in total theft offences until September last year.
Motor vehicle theft was down by 11 per cent, although burglary, shoplifting and thefts from motor vehicles were up by 3 per cent.
More than 1,000 people have been arrested, and £3 million worth of stolen property recovered, as part of Operation Lockdown, a blitz on crime in South Yorkshire.
Mr Holt said: “It’s invasive to have your home or car broken into, so these crimes have been the focus of Operation Lockdown, targeting offenders, conducting intelligence-led patrols and raising awareness of crime prevention methods through our Keep it Safe campaign.
“It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to lock doors and windows and remove valuables from view.
“I urge everyone to help us by keeping security at the forefront of their minds.
“Year-to-date figures from April 2013 show an 8 per cent drop in burglary and 3 per cent drop in vehicle crime. I’m hopeful our message is starting to hit home.”
Overall, the number of offences recorded across South Yorkshire was down 3 per cent, to 93,209.
Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner said: “I welcome the reduction in crime we are seeing.
“I hope to see further improvement this year.”