Police say they are keen to use online assistance to help recover stolen smartphones that have tracking applications, which make it possible to find a phone using its GPS signal, installed.
The apps can be activated remotely via a dedicated website, which can then be used to track the phone.
If a phone with an app fitted has been lost the owner can simply log on and locate the handset. However, if it has been stolen, the owner should call 999 so police can try to track the phone, recover it and make any arrests.
Det Insp Paul Doran, from the Herts police crime reduction unit said: “If owners report thefts quickly enough there’s a great chance of getting their phones back and for us to catch the perpetrators before they have disposed of any evidence.
“The technology can also help trace missing persons, and we urge families with vulnerable members to securely record their account details required to activate this facility.”