Backed by the police, the Mobile Equipment National Database is intended to get phones back to phone owners if their handset is lost or stolen.

The database has been created as crime statistics show that more than 50% of street crime involves a mobile phone.

And a survey reveals that more than half of all mobile phone users have lost a phone in the last three years.

Although administered by a private firm the Mend database has the backing of police forces in the UK.

Adam Lindsay, crime prevention officer with the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit, said that the scheme was currently being promoted to those living in London.

About 80% of British adults own or regularly use a mobile phone according to figures gathered by the Office of National Statistics. Ownership figures are even higher for those aged between 15 and 34.

Mr Lindsay said that currently more than 10,000 phones are lost or stolen every month. Transport for London, which oversees the capital’s travel infrastructure, currently finds more than 600 phones per month on its buses, trains and tubes.

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