The UK home secretary John Reid is to approach Apple and Sony to get them to install anti-crime software on their mobile phones and MP3 players.
Reid said that manufacturers should concentrate as much on anti-crime functions as on other design features.
Electronic gear like mobile phones and MP3 players are highly prized by criminals and recent UK crime figures show the number of street robberies rose 8 per cent, to 26,600 during the final quarter of last year.
Reid told the BBC's Sunday AM programme that Apple, maker of the Mac and iPod, and Japanese electronics firm Sony had been chosen because of their innovative track record in technological design.
He will also talk to other manufacturers with the idea of getting them all to attend a technology summit.