Mobile phone theft is on the rise in Greenwich, with more than 1,400 thefts reported in the past year.

Greenwich Council and the Met Police are cracking down on this crime after 1,432 thefts or robberies involving a mobile phone were recorded in the last 12 months.

In an effort to combat the problem, the Met has increased patrols around high crime areas including Greenwich University and the Cutty Sark.

Greenwich Council looked at CCTV coverage, lighting conditions, visitor flow and the directions perpetrators came from, and then fed this information back to the police to help with their investigations.

In collaboration with the Met Police, the council has also launched an awareness campaign, using chalk stencils around town centre crime hotspots.

These stencils read: "Don’t look at this. Look out for thieves instead."

The aim is to alert the public to the increasing number of phone thefts and robberies in these areas.

Feedback from community engagement activities indicated that the campaign contributed to increased public awareness in the targeted areas.

The council has also organised community engagement events at locations such as the Cutty Sark.

Here, residents and visitors could access information about how to prevent phone thefts, as well as bike thefts.

News Shopper: The police and the council have together launched an awareness campaign about mobile phone theftThe police and the council have together launched an awareness campaign about mobile phone theft (Image: Greenwich Council)

This community work has led to a number of arrests related to phone theft.

Last month, five men, aged between 20 and 50 years, were arrested after police found a hoard of stolen mobile phones in a Brockley property.

This followed a series of thefts across Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark.

While searching the property, officers discovered bags filled with hundreds of phones wrapped in foil which are thought to belong to local students and tourists.

In a separate incident, two teenagers aged 14 and 15 were arrested after a spate of moblie thefts around Greenwich Park and the O2 Arena.

The criminals snatched phones from people's hands while riding e-bikes.

Quick police response led to the recovery of seven phones, and three have already been returned to their rightful owners.

Councillor Ann-Marie Cousins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement, said: "Phone theft is unfortunately on the rise, but our Council officers and the police are working together to locate and arrest perpetrators across the borough.

"These examples of quick-thinking police work and arrests will hopefully send out a message to thieves that they will not be able to get away with it and will be prosecuted."

If you have something stolen from you, or see a robbery take place, you should call 999 immediately, while details of past robberies or thefts can be reported anonymously at