Wednesday 16 January 2019

Girl (12) assaulted for her gold iPhone as warning issued over children carrying expensive technology

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Police have arrested a man after CCTV footage showed a 12-year-old girl in a violent struggle with a robber as he attempted to swipe her mobile phone.

Derbyshire Police released the disturbing images of the moment the girl resisted her attacker on Cambridge Street, Derby, before he eventually ran off with her rose gold iPhone 6s.

A 22-year-old man from Derby was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of robbery and is at St Mary's Wharf police station awaiting questioning, the force said.

The dramatic footage shows the schoolgirl put up a fight as she managed to keep hold of her phone even after she was dragged to the floor.

The 12-year-old was on her way home to her mother at 4.40pm on Sunday after she had been sent on an errand to the local shops.

Police are urging anyone with information to contact them via 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Director of criminology at the University of Kent, Dr Erin Sanders-McDonagh, told the Telegraph that carrying such items leads to youngsters being “targets”, despite parents inventions of keeping their children safe.

She said: “Parents do have to take into account that their children can become targets when they are given phones. Having valuable items increases the chance of being a victim of crime, and children are easier targets for criminals.

“Of course many parents feel that phones keep their children safe, and this is true, but does your child need say an iPhone 10 to check in with you.

“Buying the most expensive and the best isn’t always needed, but perhaps is wanted. It is therefore important to balance what keeps your child safe and what can make them a target.”

Crime prevention officer at Derbyshire Constabulary, Kate Bowyer, told the Telegraph that whilst there was no blame on victims it was important that parents explain to children the responsibility and consequences of having expensive items such as phones and portable music players.

“Parents need more education; whilst phones are great for safety, they are also highly desirable items,” she said.

Ms Bowyer added that “children are withdrawn from society” when using their phones or listening to music and therefore don’t recognise the potential dangers.

Derbyshire Constabulary are still seeking information on the incident.

Roger Critchell, director of operations at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Having a mobile stolen can be a really shocking and distressing for the victim.

“Thieves look for people they can target easily, so when you are out and about only use your mobile when absolutely necessary.”

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