Federal Government Legislation on “rebirthing” stolen mobile phones welcomed by industry

Australia’s mobile telecommunication industry congratulated the Federal Government on its announcement that it will make it an offence to “rebirth” stolen phones.

“The proposed Commonwealth legislation will, with complementary State and Territory legislation form a very important element of the “Mind Your Mobile” Campaign”, Graham Chalker the CEO of AMTA said today.

“The “Mind Your Mobile” campaign is a joint initiative of the industry and law enforcement agencies to reduce the 100,000 phones that go missing in Australia every year. Almost half these were stolen from parked cars.

The “Mind Your Mobile” campaign has three key elements:

  • industry-wide handset blocking completed in March 31 2003, which will stop stolen phones from being used on any network in Australia;

  • an education campaign to increase consumer awareness of the practical steps users can take to prevent theft; and,

  • working with government to make tampering with a mobile phone’s serial number, or using a tampered phone, a criminal offence.

“Our investigations, both here and overseas, indicated that while handset blocking is an important part of the solution to phone theft, it is not the only part,” he said.

“Phone owners can take practical actions to immediately reduce the risk of their phone being stolen.”

“A large proportion of all stolen mobile phones have been taken from cars where they have been left in full view. As well, many people also appear to be unaware of the in-built security features that are already available on most phones and can provide further protection against would-be thieves,” Mr Chalker said.

“Mobile phones are valuable and people should treat a phone in the same way they do their wallet or purse - keep it close and secure at all times.”

Media enquiries to Glenn Brown, Manager Business Development, AMTA 0416 000 775
For more information on the “Mind Your Mobile” and other mobile phone and issues see www.amta.org.au.

Make it Secure Keep It Close

The mobile phone industry is making a huge investment in developing more effective security features that make the theft of mobiles fruitless. By making use of these features and by observing a few simple guidelines you can help put thieves out of business – and save yourself a lot of inconvenience and expense:

  • Never leave your mobile in the car
  • Keep your mobile on you, never put it down in a public place or leave it unattended
  • Switch to vibrate mode in circumstances where a ring tone might attract the attention of a thief.
  • Make use of your mobile’s security features.
  • Notify your network carrier and the police immediately in the event of loss or theft.