As the frequency of parcel deliveries increases in the run up to Christmas, Merseyside Police are taking proactive steps to disrupt parcel thieves and asking people to think about how and where they have parcels delivered.
Knowsley Local Policing Chief Inspector, Christopher Ruane, urged residents to take extra precautions to aid the police in preventing package thefts: “It’s always frustrating and upsetting for people if a package gets stolen from off their doorstep or out their porch, but obviously it’s worse before big events like Christmas. Every company has their own policy on parcel theft, and some, even if you can prove that your package was stolen, won’t issue a refund. That can leave you out of pocket and with an empty spot under the tree.
“We’ve working with online retailers and delivery companies to prevent that from happening. For example, placing trackers in random packages before they even get to the doorstep, is a big help in catching thieves. As the tracked packages are identical to the non-tracked ones, there’s no way for potential thieves to be sure if they’re inadvertently taking us home with them.
“You can take steps to help keep your packages safe as well. The key is planning ahead.
“Most of us have had times where we thought we were going to be in for a delivery, but then something happens, the delivery day changes, and we can’t be there. Consider identifying a safe place. Most courier firms allow you to in advance. Even if you think you’re going to be in, pick a safe place just in case.
“Your safe place should be roomy and out of sight of opportunistic thieves. Behind the plant pots might be fine for having a notebook delivered, but is it going to hide that new jacket or an Xbox, are potential offenders going to be able to see it sticking out?
“In an ideal world, it would be great if everyone had a ‘parcel keeper’: a lockable storage box in your porch or outside your house that packages can be posted into. But to have one that’s sizeable enough to accommodate large deliveries needs a decent amount of space.
“Alternatively, a trusted friend or neighbour is usually a good option, but around Christmas when everyone gets busy, you might be better off having items delivered to a parcel locker, particularly if it’s a high-value item. It might mean having to go to collect it from your local garage or corner shop, but it’s far safer than having it left outside your property or in an unlocked porch.
“With people taking some preventative safety measures, and us proactively targeting parcel thieves, hopefully we can keep Christmas safe together.”
By coming together as a community to disrupt the sale of stolen goods and making their sale more high-risk for criminals, police hope to lower parcel theft attempts. Therefore, Merseyside Police are asking anyone who has information about the sale of stolen goods to report it by direct messaging @MerpolCC, or by calling 101.
You can also anonymously report to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their website.