Alarming research has revealed a rise in the number of under 16 year olds falling victim to crime. According to the Design Council, as gadgets and accessories such as the iPod and iPhone rise in popularity and availability among teenagers increases, they become 'hot property' and a target for crime.
The research was conducted on behalf of Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, in order to raise awareness of an increase in teen-on-teen crime and to focus on design deterrents. According to the research, one in four young people in England have had a 'hot product' snatched and almost one in three was pick-pocketed in the last three years.
The research also revealed that young people are more likely to be a victim of crime than adults, with a whopping 12 per cent of young people in England claiming to have been a victim of 'hot product' theft in the last three years.
The study found that 97 per cent of young people asked have carried a gadget with them at some point, highlighting the need for contents insurance
as many 'hot products' are valuable items costing in excess of £100.
Commenting on the findings, Ms Smith said: "As individuals, we must take the simple steps which help keep our families and possessions safe – locking our doors and cars, keeping desirable possessions out of sight and reporting crime to the police.
"The innovation of design and business has helped hugely in these crime-reducing efforts – better car security devices and the barring of stolen mobiles have both reduced opportunities for criminals in recent times." It is also possible to buy specific mobile phone insurance
policies to protect mobiles, which are one of the most commonly stolen items.
Ms Smith added: "This project is an exciting continuation of that work and focuses on an issue particularly close to my heart: protecting young people. It aims to identify design-led opportunities to protect 11-16 year olds from becoming victims of crime, given the widespread possession of increasingly sophisticated electronic devices such as phones, MP3 players and mobile game consoles," she added, outlining the project.
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