The Metropolitan Police has blamed the recent rise in street crime on the ready availability of expensive gadgets carried around by pedestrians each day.
According to figures released by the Met, there were 31,841 street robberies recorded in London last year, an increase of 8.3 per cent from 2009. During this period, 13,400 phones were stolen, PC Pro reports.
“Smart phones and media players are becoming must-have items for many people - that includes criminals too. They simply see these items as cash,” Met Commander Simon Pountain said.
"Many robberies happen when people check their phones just after leaving a transport hub, or when they are going about their business and may be distracted.”
To combat the expected January rise, police have stepped up patrols in known robbery hotspots and launched a new campaign to boost awareness of the potential dangers, the Independent reports.
As part of the campaign, posters will be put up around transport hubs in Brent, Southwark, Lewisham, Lambeth, Newham and Waltham Forest. The Met is also warning people to keep expensive gadgets out of site when out.