March 5th, 2013

Sullivan tables bill to fight cell phone theft

In response to the growing problem of cell phone theft, NDP MP Mike Sullivan (York South – Weston) has tabled a bill making it illegal to tamper with the unique serial number attached to each cell phone.

“Cell phone theft is primarily a crime of opportunity, because any stolen mobile device can easily be reactivated with a different carrier,” said Sullivan. “This will make it easier to track lost or stolen phones and will cripple the illegal cell phone trade by making it a criminal offence to tamper with the cell phone identification numbers.”

Last year, in response to constituents’ concerns about being mugged for their cell phones, Sullivan submitted a motion calling for a national cellphone database to track stolen cell phones. He also wrote to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) seeking its support for this initiative. This led to the current development of a national database by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) where each cell phone identifier will be recorded.

“This bill will go a long way toward decreasing robberies and the threats of violence and intimidation that go with them,” said NDP Industry Critic Hélène LeBlanc (LaSalle – Émard). “This is a practical solution to a growing problem.”