The stolen mobile phone market may be about to take a tumble because the Home Office has now asked mobile phone recycling firms to check the National Mobile Phone register when they receive a phone for recycling.
The Government is preparing a code of practice to get mobile recyclers to run these checks.
The Home Office says that 9 out of 10 stolen phones are blocked for use in the UK within 2 days of being reported stolen. However, quite a few are sent abroad and they can still be used.
According to the Home Office around 100,000 stolen handsets with an average value of £25 are sent to mobile phone recyclers. Mobile phone recycling companies pay phone users to send in their old mobiles and the handsets frequently get sent overseas where they are resold, or recycled.
13 mobile phone recyclers have joined the scheme to check whether phones they receive are on the register. These are – 20:20 Mobile, Anovo/Love2Recycle, Fonebank, Environmental Mobile Control, Mazuma, MPRO, Redeem, Royal Mail, West One Technology, Regenersis, Eazyfone, Mobile Phone Xchange, and ShP.
The Home Office are pleased with the response from mobile phone recycling firms so far and are encouraging other companies to follow suit.