Parcel theft: What to do if your delivery is stolen and how to prevent it
Parcel theft is on the rise across the UK as criminals target people’s doorsteps, new figures show - but what can you do if your delivery is stolen and how can you stop it?
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The number of parcels being stolen from people’s front doors, porches and gardens is rising across the UK, new reports have found. Using a freedom of information request to UK police forces, The Sunday Times reports data shows that about 2,700 parcel thefts were reported in 2019, but this figure rose to almost 10,500 by last year. The average stolen parcel is worth £115.
According to a separate report from technology firm Metapack, the number of claims for missing parcels jumped by 59% in the year to June compared with the previous 12 months. Ian Caminsky, from Qadient, said: “Parcel theft is a growing issue in the UK. In the US there is a huge problem with ‘porch pirates’ following delivery trucks around neighbourhoods and stealing parcels, and the police figures indicate criminals in the UK are increasingly recognising the same lucrative opportunity.
“Police forces themselves have stated that the number of reported incidents is just the tip of the iceberg; after all when parcels go missing, many people will often contact retailers and couriers, rather than the police."
What to do if someone steals your parcel
If you think you have been the victim of parcel theft, you can report it to police, but consumers are advised to also go through their retailer or delivery company. If you were asked to nominate a ‘safe place’ for the courier to leave your parcel and it’s then stolen, it’s your responsibility.
However, if you didn’t nominate anywhere, then it’s the retailer’s responsibility to refund or replace the stolen parcel.
Will police do anything about a stolen parcel?
If you think your parcel was stolen, you can report it to police, but consumers are advised to go through their retailer or delivery company. Unless you have evidence of the theft, the police may not be able to pursue an investigation.
The police advise people to take a number of steps to prevent doorstep theft. These include :
- Install a security light or a video doorbell
- Track your parcel to ensure you or someone else is at home when it arrives
- Arrange for the parcel to be delivered to a trusted neighbour or,
- Use an off-site locker service for deliveries.