Sunday, February 5News For London

Beware of “porch pirates” this festive season!

The growing trend of theft of parcels left unattended by delivery drivers raises the question of security in the UK

As we get closer to Christmas, postal workers are expected to go on strike. In preparation for Christmas, many people are switching to Amazon and other e-commerce shops due to these impending strikes. If people are not at home, packages can be left on doorsteps to wait for pickup by purchasers, which if left alone for too long, facilitates attempting to steal.

From 2021 to 2022, an estimated 10,485 packages were stolen.

In the UK, parcel theft is becoming a bigger problem. “porch pirates” are a major issue in the US, where they follow delivery trucks around neighbourhoods and steal packages, as per Ian Caminsky, SVP & MD parcel locker solutions UKI and DACHIT, Quadient. Police statistics show that criminals in the UK are realising the same lucrative opportunity.

“These men follow delivery vans and wait to see if the parcel is being picked up or not,” says Noreen Goss, a resident of Kenton road whose parcel was recently picked up by a thief shortly after it was delivered at her doorstep.

Screenshot from the video doorbell recording provided by Noreen

“They cover their faces fully so not much was there to see on CCTV. We have a full recording of the crime being committed but unfortunately, there is no way to identify him.”

Screenshot from the video doorbell recording provided by Noreen

Noreen reflects, “I had done everything in terms of security, installed CCTV and video doorbell”, she asks, “who do I blame for this?” 

The local policing team for Pinner South said: “Please ask a neighbour to take in deliveries or nominate a safe place for them to be left.”

Source: Twitter

If global action is not taken, it is anticipated that parcel theft will continue to climb as courier services increase worldwide. Courier services and drivers are under intense pressure to prevent online buyers from having to wait for package deliveries, reschedule lost shipments, and trundle to package depots, as well as the agony of having packages lost or stolen.

The risk of being impacted by the growing trend of theft of parcels left unattended by delivery drivers can be reduced by following some helpful tips by the Metropolitan Police.