Property warning: Parcel theft rife as Christmas approaches – how to stay ‘parcel-safe’
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New research from ADT Fire & Security has found that parcel thefts are now rife across the country. Worryingly, more than 12 million Britons have been victims of parcel pinching, with Londoners being almost twice as likely to experience parcel theft. More than a quarter of Britons have said they are concerned for their safety when they open their front doors, with this figure rising further to almost half among Londoners.
Although delivery boxes are used by 16 percent of Londoners, only seven percent of the rest of the country uses them.
Forty percent of people in London are also more likely to have extra security in place to protect their deliveries.
To stop criminals cashing in on parcels this winter, ADT has come up with several top tips to help protect those ordering Christmas presents online and to deter potential thieves.
Head of Products and Solutions at ADT Lee Jasper said: “Lockdown has exacerbated online deliveries across the country and with Christmas fast approaching it has never been more important to safe-proof deliveries.
“A strong theme that has emerged from our findings is that Brits are struggling to find the perfect solution to make deliveries seamless.
“While those lucky enough to know their neighbours seem to have the advantage here, there are still some simple steps everyone can take to keep parcels safe this Christmas.”
Here are ADT’s top tips:
1. Schedule your deliveries
It sounds easier said than done, especially when you’ve got a busy schedule.
But with most delivery companies allowing customers to set up free notifications, you can easily predict when your parcel will arrive.
Most companies also allow you to reschedule your package delivery for another time or for pick-up.
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2. Specify your delivery instructions
Don’t just say “behind bin” – most houses have a plethora of bins outside them with flats often having several for different numbers.
If you’re specific with your delivery instructions, you’re less likely to get your parcel nabbed.
You can suggest leaving items with a specific neighbour if you trust them or ask your driver to contact you when they’re close by so you can decide where they should put it depending on where you are.
3. Don’t ask to leave them in obvious places
It’s tempting to choose a convenient place for your parcels to avoid confusion, however, obvious places are often targeted by thieves.
A parcel box could be a good option as they are usually locked and out of sight as well as out of reach.
If you trust your neighbours, this is an even better option.
4. Invest in a video doorbell
Video doorbells mean you can see who is at the door even when you’re busy.
Most of them will link to your smartphone or tablet so you can check who’s knocking your door when you’re out and about.
It also means you can communicate directly with a delivery person and tell them where you want them to put your parcel without going face-to-face with them.
They can also sometimes catch thieves either scoping out your property or stealing your parcel.
5. Get light and motion sensors
A CCTV system may be the best bet as some can notify you when there’s movement detected outside your premises.
It’s best to check that the camera is kept clean and well-lit so it’s the most effective against deterring thieves.
Motion lights are also a good idea as they can turn on when someone appears at your door.
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