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WEST Midlands Police are urging the public to keep track their smartphones, tablet computers and other valuables, by following new advice published on the force's website.

The impartial guidance encourages those with the latest 'must haves' - such as iPod Touch mp3 players - to keep them safe by installing applications which will enable them to track them online should they be lost or stolen.

The message comes just days after the force announced that robbery rates across the force have dropped thanks to a crackdown on robbers.

Detective Chief Inspector Darren Walsh, said: "Once downloaded these apps allow you through using another smartphone, laptop or computer to quickly ascertain where the device is using global positioning  very handy if you are the sort of person who leaves things on buses or in pubs or cafes.

"If you think you are in earshot of the device you can get it to make a ringing sound so you can find where you left it.  You can also remotely display a message on your device telling someone who may have found it to get in touch with you.

"Importantly these apps also help police recover your smartphone or tablet should it be stolen.  There have been a number of cases where these apps have helped officers to track down thieves and return the smartphone or device to its rightful owner."

The push for people to install a tracker app is in keeping with the force's the longstanding plea for people to resister valuables of all kinds for free on Immobilise, the national property register.  The database is searched by officers across the UK when they recover valuables which they believe to be lost or stolen meaning items can be returned to their rightful owners.

"In some instances the tracker function is already pre-loaded on your smartphone or tablet and just has to be activated," added Det Chief Insp Walsh.

For more information, visit the Crime Reduction section of the West Midlands Police website at www.west-midlands.police.uk/crime-reduction

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