How to Prevent Christmas Package Theft
Online shopping is the way forward, with 28.4% of all retail sales attributed to online shops last Christmas. However, with an increase in online shopping over the festive period comes the increased risk of parcels and packages being left on your doorstep when you’re not in. 85% of people included online shopping in their Christmas habits last year and thieves use this time to their advantage as gifts and presents become more expensive. Unattended packages can be left on or near your doorstep by some couriers if you don't have a designated safe space. This allows the perfect time for an opportunistic thief to seize them.
If a package has been stolen, you should report it to both the police and the delivery company so they can use the information they've got on the item. In order to prevent doorstep package theft, there are a few steps you can take to make sure any potential thieves aren’t benefitting from any length of absence from your home. This can include getting the items shipped to a specific destination, leaving them in a designated safe place or making sure you install security cameras.
Request a Signature
Opting for signed delivery ensures that someone needs to be home at the time of the delivery. This is extremely useful for expensive items, like electronics and gadgets, as these will be easy to sell on if stolen. If no one is home at the time of delivery, the package could go to your local Post Office, which gives you peace of mind when you’re not in. Some companies are able to deliver to local lockers, such as Amazon, DPD and UPS. These act as safe spaces that you can then collect the item from at your convenience.
If you know that you’re not going to be in by the time the package comes, deliver it to a trusted neighbour or relative who you know will be home. Of course, you’ll need their permission first. Alternatively, if you can, deliver the package to your place of work. You will be able to receive your delivery if it comes to where you’re spending most of the day. In an office block, someone will be available at reception to take your delivery, so you'll be happy knowing your packages are safe.
As an additional measure, you can opt for the parcel to be delivered to a local locker or Post Office. If you’re ordering from a high street chain, you can collect the parcel in-store. They may not have it in stock by the time you order it online, so it can be delivered safely into their shop for later collection. Some companies might deliver the items from their warehouse to their stores so you can pick them up when they're ready.
Usually for a little extra, or sometimes for free, you can track your parcel online, seeing its whole journey from start to finish. If it’s convenient, you can aim to be home by the time the parcel is being delivered. If not, you might be able to get a trusted person to pick up the parcel for you. You can take away a lot of the guesswork by being able to track your delivery online and see if it's being held up somewhere or just simply delayed.
In most instances, you can leave a message or specify where you’d like your parcel to be left if no one is home. You can nominate a safe place that your delivery can be left, such as down a side passage, at the back door or behind the bins. More secure places would be inside a porch as this keeps items out of sight from the road.
Install Home Security
There’s nothing easier to secure peace of mind than installing a security camera at home. If you are recording, you may need to place signage around the area that’s being recorded. Cameras usually come with motion alerts and mobile notifications, so you can be alerted when you’re not in. Outdoor security cameras can add the perfect level of safety when it comes to parcel theft. Have a look at our articles on home security systems to see which could work for you.