The Home Office has launched a new scheme to prevent stolen mobile phones from being sold to firms that recycle handsets.
Alan Campbell, the Home Office minister, launched the initiative to prevent phones blocked in the UK being used abroad.
The police, government and mobile phone industry have joined forces to establish a new code of practice, under which a range of safeguards will be put in place.
Handsets will also be checked by mobile phone recycling companies against a national register to see if they are blocked or reported as stolen.
Mr Campbell said: "By blocking 90 per cent of handsets within 48 hours we are already reducing the incentive for thieves to steal phones and this latest initiative will make it even less profitable for criminals."
Customers who decide to recycle their old mobile phones may like to use Mazuma, which offers payment within 48 hours, free postage and a free data delete tool.
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Posted by Paul Whalley