Experts attribute the recent drop in smartphone thefts to killswitch features found on many new smartphones.

Two years ago, city and local governments in the U.K. urged smartphone makers to implement technologies to deter device thefts. In fact, London Mayor Boris Johnson sent emails to many big manufacturers, including Apple, Google and Samsung. The emails stated that 10,000 handsets were stolen every month in London. Johnson reminded manufacturers of their responsibility for preventing thefts from the start.

Smartphone Theft Drops By Half In London

Apple and Google implement killswitch feature

Apple later implemented an activation lock and delete phone features to the Find My iPhone App. Less than a year later, Google and Microsoft announced plans to add the killswitch feature to future phones. Samsung later added the feature to a few of its phones as well.

London isn’t the only major city to see a significant decline in smartphone thefts. The numbers dropped in New York City by 25% and San Francisco by 40%. The state of California is also considering passing a law requiring all smartphones to feature killswitches. The law received much support from both law enforcement officials and state prosecutors.

Officials want to prevent smartphone theft

George Gascon, a district attorney in San Fransisco, believes technology that helps customers prevent phone theft is one of the coolest things companies can bring to the market.

Smartphones like the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S are some of the most desired gadgets on the market. Unfortunately, this often means the phones are prime targets for theft. Local law enforcement and government officials have made it their mission to push laws to protect citizens. Such technologies are also important for smartphone makers as customers want products that will keep them safe and protect their identity. Tech consumers are willing to spend more on gadgets that will improve their lives.