iPods and other small portable and precious devices continue to fuel a UK street crime wave, the latest UK crime statistics confirm.

Street robberies and muggings climbed a shocking 8 per cent last year. And that's not the worst of it: there has also been a 10 per cent rise in gun crime, the report reveals.

The UK government describes the clear rise in street crime-fuelled paranoia as showing that crime figures are "stable", reports the BBC.

According to police figures, the number of robberies in England and Wales rose in 2005/6 to 98,204 from 90,747 the previous year.

Home Secretary John Reid said: "This is largely driven by a rise in the numbers of young people carrying expensive goods, such as mobile phones and MP3 players."