The Home Office is preparing to tighten the law preventing the doctoring of stolen mobile phones in its forthcoming violent crime bill, the Guardian has learned.

The bill will make it easier to arrest people for illegally reprogramming phones to resell them, in an attempt to stem the wave of street robberies and thefts of mobile phones.
The crackdown comes as the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, last week blamed April's 26.4% rise in robberies on the fashion for flashy phones and iPods.

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