Smartphone theft in select major cities has dropped dramatically over the last 12 months, thanks in large part to the adoption of kill switches that remotely shut down smartphones. A new report from officials in New York, San Francisco and London shows significant declines in stolen devices.
London has seen the biggest improvement over the last year, with theft rates dropping in half. San Francisco reported a 40% improvement, while New York boasted a 25% decline.
“We have made real progress in tackling the smartphone theft epidemic that was affecting many major cities just two years ago,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Even though kill switches are not required by law in California, manufacturers have already begun equipping their phones with them as a way to deter thieves. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said that the preventative software used in these new phone is the “coolest technology they can bring to market.”
Smartphone theft accounts for more than half of all crimes in San Francisco, Oakland and other major cities in California. That is why developing kill switches for smartphones is so important for this part of the country. Apple, Samsung and Google have already implemented kill switches on their latest devices, and Microsoft is expected to follow suit in the coming months.