This lethal-sounding term refers to a technique used by the Amsterdam police
to reduce GSM
phone theft. As soon as the phone is reported stolen, the police start flooding it with text messages
that say "this handset was nicked
, buying or selling is a crime
. The police." (I assume the actual message is in Dutch
, but that's the translation I was given).
Since the police started using SMS bombing, there has been a significant decrease in phone theft - from 339 thefts in January 2001, to 186 in July. While there is usually less crime in Amsterdam in the summer, the police do credit this technique with part of the reduction, and are very happy with the results. The program has been nominated for an annual prize awarded by the government to successful crime-fighting ventures.