30.10.2023 | 5 minutes estimated reading time | Print this article

Where in the UK are you most likely to get your phone stolen?

In today’s connected world, our mobile phones are a gateway to managing our finances. Simultaneously, our physical wallets and purses continue to hold a traditional form of currency. However, this ease of access to our financial lives risks a new breed of criminals: those who prey on the vulnerability of our possessions.

Alongside protecting yourself from online scams, mobile phone and wallet/purse theft have now become a prevalent concern in the modern era, with severe consequences for our financial security and personal privacy.

Raisin UK has carried out research into whereabout in the UK you are most at risk of mobile phone and wallet/phone theft, analysing data from police forces across the UK. We then compared the amount of reports from across 2022 compared to the average population of the area to reveal the theft hotspots in the country.

These are the top 10 areas in the UK where you are most at risk of money theft

Bedfordshire has the highest amount of thefts in the UK

Coming in at number one on our list is Bedfordshire. Bedfordshire has a general population of 665,000 – one of the lowest in our index, whilst having a moderately high amount of reported financial thefts in 2022 at 2,794. 1,747 of these reports were regarding mobile phones, whilst an additional 1,047 were regarding thefts involving a wallet and purse.

In second place is Northumbria. Located in Northern England, the area has an average population of 1,460,000, with 5,226 reported thefts in our index. 3,828 of these reports were regarding mobile phones, the most compared to any other force in our study. 1,398 of these reports were regarding wallets and purses.

Following close behind is Cleveland, which used to be its own county but now forms parts of North Yorkshire and County Durham. With an estimated population of 569,000, there were 1,116 reports of mobile phone thefts and an additional 494 reports of wallets and purses being stolen.

Rank Force Mobile Phone Thefts Wallet/Purse Thefts Population Theft Index
1 Bedfordshire 1,747 1,047 665,000 42
2 Northumbria 3,828 1,398 1,460,000 35.7
3 Cleveland 1,116 494 569,000 28.2
4 Merseyside 2,702 1,028 1,500,000 24.8
5 Lancashire 2,261 879 1,500,000 20.9
6 Northamptonshire 1,110 397 723,000 20.8
7 Hertfordshire 1,919 1,190 1,500,000 20.7
8 Nottinghamshire 1,488 440 1,170,475 16.4
9 Derbyshire 769 701 1,000,000 14.7
10 West Midlands 3,554 623 2,930,000 14.2


Lincolnshire has the lowest number of thefts in the UK

At the bottom of our index with a theft index score of 2.1 is Lincolnshire, a county in eastern England. With a population of 750,000, they only had a reported 110 mobile phone thefts and 84 additional wallet/purse thefts across 2022 – making it one of the safest places in the country for these crimes.

Coming in not too far behind with a score of 3.6 is Kent. The county in the South East of England has a population of 1,800,000, yet only reported 351 mobile phone thefts and 299 wallet and purse thefts for the whole year period! With 6,971 employees across the Kent Police Force, it’s clear to see they are working hard to reduce crime in the area.

Avon and Somerset follow with 548 reported mobile phone thefts and 251 wallet/purse thefts. This, compared to their 1,720,000 estimated population, helped them gain a low score in our index.

Rank Force Mobile Phone Thefts Wallet/Purse Thefts Population Theft Index
25 Lincolnshire 110 84 750,000 2.1
24 Kent 351 299 1,800,000 3.6
23 Avon and Somerset 548 251 1,720,000 4.6
22 Durham 220 204 595,308 7.3
21 Sussex 1,072 265 1,700,000 7.8
20 Gwent 348 89 576,700 7.8


Protecting yourself from mobile theft

We all know it’s important to ensure you don’t leave your phone unattended, out of your sight, or left on a table. Thieves can grab a phone from a table in seconds so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings.

However, you can also ensure you use your phone’s security features to stop someone from using your phone. Choose a strong PIN, passcode, password or pattern. Make note of your phone’s IMEI number by typing *#06# on your phone keypad. Keep a note of it somewhere to help track your phone down in the event it was ever taken.

Many mobile phones now have tracking technology, like Find My Phone. Use it as soon as possible before thieves have a chance to disable it. Also, ensure your phone is connected to the cloud to ensure you can access your personal information and keep everything backed up.

What to do if your wallet or purse is stolen

Ensure you freeze your bank cards as soon as possible, and report them as stolen to receive replacements. You can usually do this through online banking, telephone banking, or by visiting your nearest branch. This will ensure fraudsters can’t use your card and rack up transactions.

You should also check your statements to see if there are any transactions you don’t recognise. The sooner you do this, the better – you can then open any fraud cases and your bank should credit your account with the lost amount.

You should also report your drivers license, any IDs, and gift cards as stolen. If your personal ID has been stolen, sign up for a credit score checker so you can be alerted if anyone tries to open a credit account in your name.

In any case of theft, you should report it to the police to allow them to investigate, and so you can gather a crime reference number to aid with any cases of identity fraud.


All data included is from searches for investigations recorded between 1st January to 31st December 2022. Data was acquired through Freedom of Information requests from Bedfordshire, Northumbria, Cleveland, Merseyside, Lancashire, Northamptonshire, Hertfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, West Midlands, Leicestershire, Dorset, Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, North Wales, Cumbria, West Mercia, Surrey, Gwent, Sussex, Durham, Avon and Somerset, Kent, Lincolnshire and Gloucestshire.

Searches were for investigations with the phrases ‘mobile phone’, ‘smart phone’, ‘wallet’ and ‘purse’. Estimated populations were sourced through gov.uk sources on 25th October 2023. The total amount of searches for each force was then divided by the estimated population of the force to generate an index score to compare the level of thefts.