Wednesday 22 November 2017

iPhone and iPad theft at core of crime spike in New York

Mark Hughes New York

CRIME in New York City has risen significantly with the theft of Apple products such as iPods, iPhones and iPads the main cause, say police.

Last year the number of Apple products stolen in New York was 13,233 compared with just 86 a decade ago, Ray Kelly, the city's police commissioner, said in a speech. The number is poised to increase again this year, with 11,447 Apple products stolen in the city in the first nine months -- a 40pc rise on the same period in 2011.

Overall, crime in New York City is up by 4pc this year, something Mr Kelly says can be attributed purely to theft of Apple products.

"In the absence of the Apple thefts, we would be experiencing a decline," he told the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Mr Kelly also used his speech in San Diego, to reveal how the force was restructuring its crime strategy to address the rise of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

He said the nature of neighbourhood gangs in New York was changing and technology held the key to the new groups.

He said he would be increasing the force's gang division from 150 detectives to 300 and would be allowing the officers to try to infiltrate the gangs using social media websites.

"Officers can adopt aliases for their online work, as long as these are registered with the department," he said. "They can also protect their anonymity by using department laptops with untraceable internet cards."

He said this was useful because of the amount of intelligence being uploaded to social networking sites by gang members.

"By capitalising on the irresistible urge of these suspects to brag about their exploits on Facebook, detectives used social media to draw a virtual map of their criminal activity over the last three years," he said.

On the day the iPhone 5 was launched, Mr Kelly sent officers to 21 stores in New York to register the serial numbers of the phones and the contact details of their owners in case the phones were later stolen. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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