The Home Office reckons iPods are connected to a 5 per cent rise in robberies.

The prevailing logic is that small high-value items such as iPods, mobile phones and digital cameras are easy for street criminals to target.

Ian Johnston, chief constable of the British transport police and spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers told The Guardian that the robbery rise was connected to iPods and mobiles.

"All of these gadgets that people carry around with them are very attractive to robbers, so that puts the opportunities up. We've obviously got to respond to that in a very positive way," he said.

Despite the 5 per cent climb in robbery, overall crime figures remained stable in the UK with 8.4 million fewer recorded crimes than in 1994, the Home Office report claims..

The risk of becoming a victim of crime has fallen from 40 per cent at its peak in 1995 to 24 per cent, it says. Domestic burglary and vehicle crime have fallen by 59 and 60 per cent respectively.