Most crime is opportunistic. A thief sees a chance and takes it. And the changes to our lifestyles caused by the COVID 19 pandemic have created new opportunities for the opportunistic thief.
As we move our regular shopping to online, we have in turn increased the risk of our property being stolen – before we even have a chance to unwrap the parcel.
The Daily Mail reported in March this year that 1 in 4 parcels were stolen in Australia in 2019 and it was anticipated that this would increase by 20% in 2020. This prediction was prior to the huge boom in online shopping that we are experiencing due to the COVID 19 restrictions.
Australia Post reported over 1 million parcels were stolen last year and that is only going to rise.
In the US with over $25million worth of parcels stolen PER DAY, Amazon has introduced secure lockers in 900 locations. They have also launched Amazon Key which allows customers to provide access for delivery drivers to leave the parcel inside the home or garage.
Though once restrictions are lifted we will be able to shop in the ‘real world’, it is anticipated that there will be still be far more online shopping into the future, now that many people have experienced the convenience and relied upon it for day to day items.
And it is anticipated that parcel theft will in turn increase, as we go back into the workforce and leave our homes unattended during the day.
So – what do we do?
Some of the online stores offer that you can specify a hiding spot for your deliveries. Though this is a step forward it can also create a further problem: Any guy/gal in a high vis vest can pop into your backyard and the neighbours will presume it is a pick up or delivery. Plus, however clever we think we are, there are not many hiding spots that a thief hasn’t already thought of.
If you know your neighbour it may be appropriate to have the shopping delivered to them if they are going to be home.
You may also want to consider a motion sensor security light that records any activity to the cloud. That way if a theft occurs you can at least provide footage to police.
It you are going to go this route best to install a camera that is difficult to detect. We know from years of use that if the thief sees an obvious CCTV they will simply wear a balaclava. CCTV rarely prevents crime.
One of the best ways to prevent parcel theft is to remove the opportunity: Install a parcel letterbox at your front door or at the start of your driveway. In that way your property is delivered direct to a secure box that would take considerable effort and time to break into and if in a highly visible location will increase the risk of the offender being caught.