£33,000 worth of parcels have been stolen from porches in Cambridgeshire in the last year. 

Opportunistic thieves are making off with goods potentially worth hundreds of pounds at a time after spotting boxes dropped off at homes by couriers during the day when their recipients are not in, postal industry experts have said. 

Freedom of Information requests sent to police forces reveal some constabularies are receiving multiple reports of parcel theft each day, with one in 10 households reporting the loss of a package in the last year. 

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has revealed that between August 1, 2022 and July 31, 2023, 189 porch thefts were reported to them. 

The total reported value of the stolen items amounted to £33,729.74 and the average value of the items stolen was £178.46. 

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Katia Bourgeais-Crémel, EVP Parcel Locker Solutions Europe at Quadient, said: “The plague of porch piracy has intensified during the cost-of-living crisis, with nationwide parcel theft increasing more than 500 per cent since 2019.  

“Unattended items on doorsteps are just waiting to be stolen.” 

She added that the number of porch thefts reported to the police could have increased in part due to better awareness of the importance of reporting, but said when you consider that more than one in 10 households had a parcel stolen last year, porch piracy is clearly becoming a big problem for businesses and consumers across the UK. 

“This is leaving retailers and couriers spending time and money replacing stolen deliveries and adding strain to customer services,” said Katia. 

“In households that do their Christmas shopping online, retailers’ brand perception could take a serious knock if people are left without a present to unwrap on Christmas morning.” 

Cambridgeshire Constabulary has shared steps that they believe can be taken to reduce the risk of doorstep theft. 

These are: 

  • Track your parcel to ensure you or someone else is at home for the delivery 
  • Install a video doorbell so you are notified of any delivery 
  • Install security lights 
  • Arrange for parcels to be delivered to a trusted neighbour or other family members 
  • Use an off-site locker service for frequent deliveries, or expensive items. Parcel boxes are more likely to be in busy locations such as supermarkets rather than secluded areas which could be targeted by thieves. 

Have you ever had any parcels stolen from your doorstep? Email katie.woodcock@newsquest.co.uk with more information.