November 9th, 2012

Industry action on cellphone theft needed much sooner

OTTAWA – Today’s announcement by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) on a plan to help law enforcement agencies combat cellphone theft by September 2013 was welcomed by York South-Weston MP Mike Sullivan, who has been leading the fight on cellphone theft in Parliament.

Mr. Sullivan, in response to increasing incidents of cellphone theft in his community, launched a national campaign last June to have the Federal Government direct the Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to require cellphone companies to share information in order to track and disable stolen cellphones.

“Cellphone theft accounts for 85% of street robberies in Toronto, particularly affecting youth, and we need measures to disable those stolen phones and render them useless,” said M. Sullivan.

He questioned the length of time required for the cellphone industry to develop a database to track stolen cellphones, as the CWTA intends to have these measures in place by September 2013 – ten months away.

“An International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) database already exists and has existed since 1996 and the CWTA has been aware of the issue of cellphone theft and re-activation of stolen cellphones for years, so why the delay for 10 months, asked Sullivan. People are being mugged now for their cellphones and deserve protection now.”