Like a big flashing sign above the listener’s head saying “Mug Me!” the distinctive white headphones of iPods continue to attract the unwanted attentions of ne’er-do-wells in the street.
With the latest Home Office crime statistics expected to reveal that muggings rose by almost 40% in some parts of the country last year, police are blaming the sharp rise in the street robberies on the increasing popularity of iPods, MP3 players and expensive mobile phones.
Chief superintendent Paul Forrester of Merseyside police said students and teenagers strutting around with expensive gear were virtually asking for it, commenting: “Some children carry phones and iPods worth over £600 and they are making themselves walking targets.”
Metropolitan police chief Sir Ian Blair was equally quick to point the finger of blame at all things Apple Mac: “It is very obvious when someone is wearing an iPod. That is what is fuelling this.”
Figures from the Metropolitan police revealed that the practice of purloining iPods increased more than fivefold since last November 2004, with incidents rising from ten a month to 52 in May this year.
Similarly, the number of iPods pinched from motors went in an equally upward direction, leaping from 178 cases in November 2004 to 395 in May this year.
Insurance company Norwich Union have found themselves shelling out for pilfered iPods by the bucketful, replacing 1,721 lost or stolen iPods between January and September this year, compared to just 36 during the same period last year.
Our advice to iPod users: forget about making a style statement, dump those daft white headphones in double quick time and get yourself something more discrete!