Group unveils plan to block stolen phones in the UK

The Mobile Industry Crime Action Forum (MICAF) pledged to block 80% of stolen mobile phones on the five UK networks within 48 hours of the theft being reported, a statement from the group said.

According to the MICAF, as a standard, mobile phones were blocked when reported stolen. However, there was no accountability as far as blocking phones on networks was concerned.

The group said the pledge was part of a charter launched by the MICAF and phone networks, which was intended to reduce mobile phone crime.

The organization claimed that most of today's recent mobile phones were useless once blocked, since they could not be reactivated. But the problem of phones being sold overseas still remained.

The MICAF hoped the pledge would persuade people against purchasing a stolen phone and said the support of the UK's mobile phone industry would demonstrate commitment to customer safety and help make phones less desirable to thieves.

O2, Orange, 3, T-Mobile and Vodafone were the five UK networks involved in the charter and John Reid, the Home Secretary, said GBP1.35 million ($2.5 million) has been pledged towards funding for a national phone crime unit.