Tuesday, Sept 22nd, 2009
People stopped by the police in parts of London are having their phones scanned and instantly checked against a national database to determine whether they are stolen.
The on-the-spot checks, reminiscent of Police National Computer (PNC) checks for stopped vehicles, are being trialled by officers in Ealing and Bromley.
A handheld wireless device called Apollo scans the IMEI barcode, usually found underneath a phone’s battery*, and runs the number against the National Mobile Property Register (NMPR), a privately-run database that styles itself “the PNC of property”. It gathers data on stolen property from police, insurers, business and the public.
A Met spokesman said the device was merely a new tool officers could use when they stop and search suspects that would free control room staff from running IMEI checks manually.
This article was posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 10:05 am