The company that developed a crime-free mobile phone recycling system has chosen Research Autism as its nominated charity.
Research Autism, a charity that focuses on improving the quality of life of people with autism, will benefit from phone recycling firm Recipero's CellRecycle campaign which will collect and recycle old and unwanted mobile phone handsets.
CellRecycle is unique as it guarantees each handset donated is checked against the national database of 8 million stolen mobile phones before it is recycled. Those found to be stolen are passed to the police for further forensic examination.
Research Autism is urging all other charities to follow their lead and make sure the mobile phone recycling schemes they use check for stolen handsets through Recipero.
Geoffrey Maddrell, Chairman of Research Autism, said: "It is important that charities are very careful how they raise money for the good causes they represent. They have a responsibility to make sure they do not benefit from criminal activity.
"Until now charity handset recycling schemes have offered criminals the perfect way to dispose of mobile phones that have been stolen or used in organised crime. Now, for the first time we can be sure that no proceeds from stolen mobile phones are used and that this loophole is closed.
"The funds raised from this campaign will make a big contribution to Research Autism's work with parents, partners, carers and individuals that have autistic spectrum disorders."
Recipero was responsible for creating the first database of stolen mobile phones for the Police's National Mobile Phone Crime Unit.
Mobile phone recycling has become a highly successful method of raising funds for charities as old handsets are discarded when owners are able to upgrade to the very latest phone.
Research Autism plan to use funds from this programme to help pay for research into new interventions for autism - therapies that help improve the quality of life of those with autistic spectrum disorders.
Families, partners and carers of people with autism are often targeted by unscrupulous individuals who claim to be doctors and medical experts. These so-called experts promise cures and miraculous results from interventions that are expensive, untested and often highly dangerous.
In April a groundbreaking website was launched by Research Autism to help people navigate their way through this information minefield and identify interventions that have been rigorously tested, those that have a limited effect whilst highlighting the interventions that could be harmful. Already thousands of people are using the site to get help and advice.
Mobile phone crime is reaching epidemic proportions. Statistics for 2005/06 reveal that 800,000 were stolen. Often thefts of mobile phones are part of an assault, burglary or bullying - crimes that have long lasting effects on victims.
Adrian Portlock, founder of Recipero said: "Some people may think that it doesn't really matter if an old mobile phone was stolen as long as the proceeds are now going to charity."
"Mobile phone thefts are particularly nasty crimes upon individuals. Phones are often snatched as part of a violent assault and used to organise and co-ordinate a wide range of criminal activity once stolen.
"People can be left very traumatised by the experience. With this new system we can make sure any forensic evidence that remains in or on the handset is collected wherever possible."
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Bernard Fleming, Information Manager, Tel. 020 3490 3091, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Autism is the only UK charity dedicated to the production of quality, trusted information on autism treatments and other approaches. Its Information Centre is informed by world experts and accredited by the NHS Information Standard, an independent kite-mark of reliability and quality. It guides people through the minefield of interventions on offer, allowing them to make informed decisions based on impartial, factual information, including risks and hazards. Its research programme is derived from the priorities of autistic people and families and addresses areas that affect everyday life.