Posted October 28th, 2021 by SimpliSafe
New police research reveals that parcel thefts have gone up by 17% over the last four years, with the pandemic also giving rise to ‘porch pirates’ with a lockdown spike of 7,750 parcels stolen in just six months in Surrey alone. Since the pandemic forced us to browse through digital aisles, more of us have been ordering online, meaning more parcel theft opportunities. If you’re an avid online shopper, you’ll certainly want to take note of our ways to help improve your doorstep and parcel security.
Even at the point of ordering online, you can do more to make your deliveries safer. First, see if you can specify the day of delivery so you can ensure you’ll be in to collect. Many couriers offer parcel tracking, and some even ask if you’ll be in to avoid leaving anything outside.
If you’re going to struggle to be in, use alternative delivery addresses, as long as you have the residents’ permission. For example, do you have relatives or trusted neighbours who are at home these days who won’t mind? Or, maybe you can receive deliveries to your workplace.
If you do have safe spaces or driveway gates, you can specify this on your orders and leave delivery notes.
One thing that’s sure to deter a ‘porch pirate’ is an outdoor security camera. They’ll certainly think twice before sneaking around your property. And with smart security systems being able to sync with a range of gadgets, you can be notified of any suspicious activity and break-ins instantly - no matter where you are.
Another security measure that’s good to have in place is security lighting. Thieves are notoriously known for operating in the dark, and we all know why. So, make it harder for them to go unnoticed with motion sensor lights to put a spotlight on any trespassers.
If you’ve got the budget and are looking to improve your driveway security, then a driveway gate is a fantastic idea, especially when it comes to reducing the risk of parcel theft.
If a driveway gate isn’t feasible, you can get a parcel keeper. This is a secure box that works like a post box for your deliveries to be stored securely. There are different sizes available, so you just have to factor in how often you order online, and what kinds of parcels arrive. The larger the box, the more expensive it seems.
If you have sheds and garages, these can also work as great safe spaces for deliveries (as long as nothing too valuable is stored in them). Again, you’ll need to leave notes for delivery drivers online on where to leave parcels that are safe. This is another reason why a security camera is a smart idea, as you can track anyone who’s entered the garden and verify if your parcel was ever delivered or left in the safe space. You can also talk to any delivery drivers through the camera’s two-way audio so you can instruct them on where to leave parcels as well as capture footage for any potential disputes like wrongly handled and damaged goods.
Another way to avoid parcel theft is to send parcels to lockers so you can guarantee security. Amazon, supermarkets and independent postal businesses offer safe lockers and this method allows you to pick up your deliveries at a time convenient for you, without the worry of anything being left on your doorstep. This is especially good for those who have deliveries scheduled but are away for long periods of time. Just make sure you pick up your parcels sooner rather than later.
Aside from all the gadgets, boxes and security tools, it pays to be a good neighbour. Building that rapport with neighbours can help with overall neighbourhood security. You can find out about any recent crimes or suspicious activity to pass on so everyone is more alert and cautious. You can also offer to receive parcels for neighbours, so they might do the same for you. Once you’ve built a trusted relationship, everybody wins. If you are more friendly with neighbours, the chances are more people are looking out for you, your property and parcels.
Don’t forget about click-and-collect services. We’re so used to getting things delivered these days, we forget about how convenient and helpful click-and-collect services are. If you know you’re going to be out and nearby, opt for the collect option instead. You can also organise your shopping and deliveries better by factoring in your week’s or month’s schedule. Knowing that your orders are safely stored in the shop or at the post office will keep your mind more at ease.
Of course, if you do find yourselves in the unlucky position of having a parcel stolen, the sooner you report the theft, the better. Reports all help the police with statistics to see which areas are more rife with crime and similar criminal activities. You can check the crime rate in your area with our Crime in the UK tool. You can also use apps like Nextdoor and social media to share updates in the neighbourhood. WhatsApp or Facebook groups can be set up for communities and neighbourhoods to post if they’ve had their parcels stolen so others can keep an eye out.
And with a SimpliSafe security system, any footage you have can help with investigations, both with visuals and with time stamps. Contact us today for help with finding the right system for your property.