Mobile phones and crime

We probably shouldn’t laugh (although, it is funny and therefore hard not to), but last month a burglar was jailed after he left his mobile phone at the scene of the crime.

Leon Jacques, 29 from Chesterfield was sentenced to 39 months after dropping his mobile phone in a widower’s bedroom, as he made off with a safe containing over £3,000 in cash.

Sadly, although Jacques was caught and has been punished, the jewellery he stole from the victim, which belonged to his deceased wife, was never recovered.

 

This got us thinking in the office.  How many times has a mobile phone been used to solve a crime, or potentially gotten in the way?

These days when you are out and about in public venues, it’s probably easier to spot the person who isn’t glued to their phone screen.  With so many people absorbed in scrolling and flicky-whooshing, it’s perhaps not surprising that it can be hard to find witnesses when something happens on the street.

There are physically less people to notice what’s going on around them.  They are certainly less likely to notice someone behaving suspiciously, until it’s perhaps too late.

That said though, mobile phones have ensured that crimes are now reported much quicker than they have been in the past.  People no longer have to physically locate a police officer, or go to a local shop or business to use a landline phone to call an issue in.

Mobile phone thefts are continuing to increase, however, as people continue to walk about in a trance-like state, phone held out in front of them like mystical divining rods. It’s almost possible to understand why thieves are tempted to take advantage of such easy pickings.

Again though, as people have such quick access to their mobile devices, it’s also possible that within seconds videos are being taken, and at least the after events of an incident are recorded for posterity.  This can be a huge help if people did not see what happened at the time, and can therefore be used to piece events together.

Equally whilst witnesses are exceptionally helpful, one difficulty can come with conflicting statements. Our recall is not always 100%, certainly when you add in stress and fear.  Videos from mobile phones can help show what really did happen, rather than what you think might have happened, and this can make a huge difference when trying to narrow down the search for an offender.

 

What are your thoughts?

Are you the type of person that thinks mobile phones are taking over our lives, and day to day interactions?  Or, do you see a place for them in the new society we have created?

When something happens, do you reach straight for your phone to record the moment?  Or do you prefer to live in the minute instead?

Pop over to our Facebook page and join in the discussion. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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