A new private member’s bill in the House of Commons, proposed by the NDP, is designed to crack down on cell-phone theft.
If passed the new bill would make it illegal for anyone to tamper with the serial number on a cell phone.
The proposed law would work hand-in-hand with the new stolen cell phone database which has been set up by wireless carriers.
The goal is to make it harder to unload stolen cell phones, reducing the amount of cell phone theft.
“It would prevent the re-activation of stolen cell phones and so remove the incentive to mug people for their cell phones,” said NDP MP Mike Sullivan. “It’s a simple measure that would help reduce a dangerous street crime.”
The bill would also protect consumers who by second-hand phones. Many consumers spend hundreds on used cell phones only to find out they are stolen and can’t be reactivites.
In many cases those people are never able to get their cash back.
Sullivan said there are similar laws in Europe which have already resulted in reduced wireless theft.
He hopes the tougher laws would also lead to a reduction in mugging and thefts.