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Stolen Mobile Phones (1250A/22)


1) Count of phones stolen, by month and year, recorded between 01/01/2017 and 30/09/2022.

  • Please could you make sure there is a breakdown of number of devices thieved within the statistic for incidents of thefts.

FOR EXAMPLE WE DO NOT WANT TO RECEIVE THE FOLLOWING: “Please note this data shows a count of stolen property screens, not property, so there may be multiple property items on one screen. For example, if a phone shop gets burgled and 10 phones are taken, it may be recorded on one property screen as 10 x Nokia phones but will show as 1 in the data.”

2) Count of stolen phones that were recovered by West midlands Police, by month and year, recorded between 01/01/2017 and 30/09/2022.

3) Count of victims who reported a stolen phone to West midlands Police by month and year, recorded between 01/01/2017 and 30/09/2022.

4) Count of arrests made by West midlands Police for mobile phone theft by month and year, recorded between 01/01/2017 and 30/09/2022.

5) It would also be very helpful if West midlands Police are able to give us an estimate of what percentage of stolen phones are taken via gang crime operations in comparison to isolated pick pocketers and others in Birmingham. For example “Police estimate that …% of phone thefts are organised by members of gangs”.


Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

However, although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached file 1250A_22_attachment.xlsx). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.


Period January 2017 to March 2021 – Although it has been possible to provide information for question 3 (see attached spreadsheet, which in order to assist, also includes crime outcomes), it is not possible to determine the requested information for questions 1, 2, 4 and 5, without going into the case files for each offence. This however would involve a manual trawl of thousands of records and researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

Period April 2021 to Present – Due to a major system change, it is not currently possible to determine the requested information for any of the questions above, without manually examining all theft, robbery and burglary offences. Researching each individual case would similarly exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).

This means that the cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: