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Porch piracy: UK parcel theft soars by 57%

Porch piracy: UK parcel theft soars by 57%
Porch piracy: UK parcel theft soars by 57%

Recent statistics from British police forces show a massive surge in parcel theft across the UK, highlighting risks for the upcoming Black Friday-Cyber Monday period.

Data from Quadient’s Freedom of Information (FoI) requests reveal how incidents of porch piracy increased from 3,540 to 5,692 incidents year-on-year. A significant proportion of parcel thefts occur during November and December, (12% and 15%, respectively). 

Notably, most of these thefts occur during the day, between 9am and 5pm. 

Financial cost of porch piracy

Katia Crémel, EVP parcel locker solutions at Quadient in Europe, says overall, nationwide porch piracy has increased by more than 500% in the span of four years. 

She says neither police nor consumers should be expected to solve this issue in isolation. “Police shouldn’t be expected to stem the tide of parcel theft on their own, and consumers shouldn’t be forced to strike out alone and protect themselves.”

Instead, courier companies and retailers should work with local authorities to “step up and create a network of pickup and drop-off locations people can use 24/7. “Blanket 9-5 deliveries or being forced to pick up items during specific building opening hours doesn’t work for anyone,” she adds.

How worried shoppers are about porch piracy and parcel theft in 2023

Crémel says the cost to replace stolen deliveries is astronomical – an average loss of £66.50 ($83.20) per parcel. That’s a total of £206 million ($258 million) in stolen goods, placing strain on both shoppers, retailers, and couriers. 

Parcel theft hotspots

Cambridgeshire and Northumbria are amongst the hardest-hit regions, reporting the highest total values of theft – £33,729 (US$42,035) and £33,408 (US$41,637) respectively. 

Meanwhile, Dyfed-Powys has the highest value per package at £251 (US$313), while the lowest value per package was recorded in both Avon and Somerset’s £7.89 (US$9.83).

Hertfordshire Constabulary recorded the highest rate of parcel theft relative to population size, with 73 incidents per 100,000 people. This amounted to 877 thefts over the year, averaging over two incidents daily.

Parcel theft is not unique to the UK. Across the Atlantic, Americans are also grappling with a surge in porch piracy too. 

Porch piracy in the USA

Security.org reports that approximately 44 million Americans have been “victimized by porch pirates in the past three months.” This amounts to $8 billion of stolen goods in the past year alone. 

With peak season approaching fast, 62% of Americans surveyed say they are “moderately or slightly concerned” about their parcels being stolen. While 26% were “extremely or very concerned, 12% say they are “not at all concerned.”

The data, released earlier this month, shows that 17% of Americans had a package stolen over a three-month period, with an average value of $50 per package. Unfortunately, 18% of online shoppers take no precautions to ensure safe delivery of their packages. 

About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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