Nine people have been arrested in London in the past fortnight as officers crack down on organised gangs of thieves targeting music fans carrying expensive mobile phones at crowded gigs.
Officers have recorded a rise in the number of thefts at indoor and outdoor music venues across the country.
They believe pickpockets are targeting top-end mobile phones used by many to take pictures and record acts on stage.
Investigators said surging crowds and booming music can make individuals more vulnerable to theft and help criminals escape. Members of the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (NMPCU), based within the Metropolitan Police, have warned music venues of the trend.
Detective Superintendent Nev Nolan, who leads the unit, said:
We want all fans to enjoy their concert and to have a good experience.
We are concerned that organised thieves are targeting concerts to steal phones from genuine fans.
A lot of people like to use their mobile phones to film or take photographs of the concert, but will then return the phone to an insecure bag or pocket, where thieves are able to snatch it.
When they discover it is gone, many will simply assume it is lost and simply cancel the sim, without reporting it to the police.
A lot of people will be getting mobile phones for Christmas and we would urge them to keep them safe and to register their phones with the website Immobilise.com.
Source: The Press Association