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Don’t fall victim to the porch pirates

By Anthony Irving  //  Mon 23rd November 2020
Parcels waiting in porches and on doorsteps offer rich pickings for opportunistic thieves - so called ‘porch pirates’, who may not stop at stealing deliveries.
Porch Pirates in Central London
Don’t fall victim to the porch pirates

With England well into its second lockdown, Black Friday on the way and Christmas just around the corner, internet sales are likely to be increasing exponentially - and so, it seems are thefts of online shopping.

Data from mediation service Resolver shows a rise in the number of doorstep thefts of parcels left by delivery drivers, with the service receiving 54,000 complaints about missing items since the start of the first lockdown in March. This is double to number from a year ago despite many more people working from home.

According to Resolver, the increase is down to more online shopping putting pressure on delivery drivers to drop and go - as well as the need for no-contact deliveries during the pandemic.

Parcels waiting in porches and on doorsteps offer rich pickings for opportunistic thieves - so called ‘porch pirates’, who may not stop at stealing deliveries. Says Inspector Rebecca Robinson from the Metropolitan Police: “For burglars, seeing a parcel left outside someone’s door is a sign that nobody is in. They may then spot other signs, which indicate easy access to your home, valuables within and a good opportunity to commit a burglary.”

The figures follow research by insurance company Admiral revealing that home insurance claims are rising despite the increase in home working. The study found that burglary claims doubled in October compared to the previous six months, and warned homeowners to secure their properties, even during a quick stroll between zoom calls.

Data from the Office for National Statistics reveals that a tenth of break-ins are carried out by a burglar with a key - circumstances which may leave home insurance invalid. Yet, according to Admiral, a fifth of homeowners keep a spare key under a doormat or flowerpot with 60% saying they didn’t change the locks after losing keys.

Noel Summerfield from Admiral said: “We’ve seen examples where a previous owner, or someone they’ve given a spare key to, has let themselves into their old house to steal the new homeowners’ belongings. Even house guests have been known to take a spare key and come back later to help themselves to valuables.”

Read more about this story on the Which? website.

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