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By the end of September the new database, which will be set up by the major network operators in close co-operation with the Government, will enable stolen phones to be barred across all networks by referring to their unique identification (IMEI) number.
Home Office officials believe the database will reap the benefit of new legislation concerning stolen phones. Last week the Mobile Telephones (Re-programming) Bill received royal assent, making it illegal to re-programme the IMEI number on a stolen phone.
John Denham, minister for police and crime reduction, said, "We have been working closely with industry and the police on a strategy to remove the incentive for stealing phones by reducing or removing their value to thieves."