Posted on April 21, 2021 11:50 by matan

How to protect against parcel theft

Current coronavirus restrictions have seen more of us turning to online shopping and as a result, almost half of us have been receiving more parcels. 

However, the convenience of online ordering has unfortunately led to an increase in crime, with doorstep parcel theft rising 22 percent in the last few years. Opportunist thieves are taking advantage of delivery staff leaving parcels in porches and ‘safe spaces’.

With Christmas on the way, what can you do to keep your valuable parcels safe and prevent doorstep theft?

Always watching

Despite most of us spending more time at home lately, we’re still at risk of suffering doorstep parcel theft. Social distancing guidelines mean many delivery companies require employees to leave parcels in a safe space outside the home, instead of handing them over in person.

It only takes a few seconds for opportunist criminals to swipe a package and make off undetected.

However, installing a smart doorbell means homeowners can keep an eye out for parcel pinchers, even catching them in the act. Smart doorbells record footage from the front of your home and even alert users when triggered by a built-in motion sensor.

Similarly installing a CCTV system acts as an additional deterrent, with criminals claiming visible security measures are most likely to stop them targeting homes.

A friend indoors is a friend indeed

If you’ve ordered online and are worried you won’t be home to sign for the delivery, many online retailers allow you to select an ‘unattended delivery preference’.

This could include nominating a safe space if you feel confident it’s secure enough and well-hidden from passers-by.

Many services even let you nominate a neighbour to leave the package with. 

In the lead up to Christmas, consider chatting to a trusted neighbour about nominating each other as a back-up – giving you the peace of mind your packages will be taken into a safe home, instead of being left on your doorstep.

Invest in a delivery box

If you don’t have a suitable safe space outside your home to leave parcels, consider investing in a smart parcel delivery box.

These devices allow delivery staff to press a button to request access, which you can approve from your smartphone, even when you’re out and about. 

This then opens the box, so they can leave your parcel inside. The box automatically locks once closed, so no one else can access it without your permission.

Home security best practice

Even when it comes to doorstep parcel theft, criminals aim to get in and out of your property as quickly as possible to avoid being seen.

Following general home security best practice could put off potential thieves from trying their luck. For example, leaving lights on when you’re not home makes passers-by think the home is occupied.

Fitting motion-sensor lights around your home also warns off those moving around the property, giving away their location.

Send it elsewhere

If you’re worried about parcels being left on your doorstep, consider getting them sent to a more secure location.

Amazon has specialised ‘locker’ hubs installed across the country, where you can request for you parcel to be left. You can then simply access your nominated locker using a unique passcode.

If possible, arranging for your parcel to be sent to your workplace also means there’s more likely to be someone in to sign for it.