Significant rise in reported parcel thefts in Kent

Parcel theft Photo Davie Bicker

By Local Democracy Reporter Katie May Nelson

Police are dealing with more reports of parcel thefts than ever before.

Kent Police revealed there were 57% more reports made last year than in 2021, but only a small number resulted in someone being charged.

Most recently available statistics on parcel and letter thefts recorded between January and the end of November last year show there were 934 such reports.

This outstrips the number recorded in 2021 (596).

The figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request show there’s been a steady increase in the numbers since 2017.

Number of parcel/ post thefts since 2017

  • 2017 – 205
  • 2018 – 231
  • 2019 – 216
  • 2020 – 270
  • 2021 – 596
  • 2022 (January – November) – 934

In most cases recorded last year (824) the investigation was closed because no suspect had been identified.

Additionally, in 39 reports, the victim was unable to or declined to support further police action.

In the last year, there’s been six charges. In one case, the victim or a key witness was either dead, or too ill to prosecute.

At the time of the Local Democracy Reporting Service obtaining the figures, 11 reports remained under investigation.

Superintendent Pete Steenhuis said: “We have seen an increase in reports of thefts of parcels and letters, with 205 reports received in Kent in 2017, and 934 reports in 2022.

“It is important to note this is not an issue just in Kent, but nationally too. This could be down to a number of factors, including an increase in online shopping, especially over the pandemic period.

“Kent Police investigates all reports of theft and is committed to bringing those responsible to justice.

“Residents and business owners are always encouraged to take steps to reduce their chances of becoming victims of crime.

“Private CCTV, security lighting, and alarms can be valuable tools in deterring criminals.

“Other measures such as security marking and documenting valuables and ensuring nothing is left on display can also help to prevent burglary and theft.

“Agree a safe place for parcel delivery if you know you are not going to be available when it arrives.

“Reviewing any CCTV, doorbell footage or dashcam opportunities is one of many enquiries officers will carry out when a crime is reported and can assist in identifying offenders.

“As well as this, monitored CCTV in a town or city centre helps police to respond quickly to incidents and arrest offenders.”

Earlier this week, witnesses said they had seen a driver abandon a large bag of parcels in Bon Fleur Lane, near Coxheath, Maidstone, prompting an investigation to be launched by delivery firm Evri.

Last month, Kent Police arrested and bailed a man after sackfuls of deliveries were found dumped in a wooded area at the end of Beacon Road in Luton, Chatham.

6 Comments

  1. Quelle surprise!
    A few years ago it was cable and metal thefts. The scum of society will fund their lifestyle with any new ‘fashionable’ scam. With the huge rise of internet shopping, this was always going to happen.
    You only have to look at the US where it is so commonplace now, and we follow a while later as we always do with everything of this nature.

  2. Why would the police even get involved? If a doorstep parcel was stolen, I would just claim a refund after the permitted lapsed time.

    Police shouldn’t have to waste time on this…

  3. Probably because a lot of the drivers for Amazon etc & especially at Xmas when they are so busy just dump the parcel outside, where it could be stolen before you find it.

  4. Personnally I would encourage everyone to use a recent delivery parcel, fill it with something quite disgusting, reseal and leave it on your doorstep, the more times this is done it will likely cause a decline in this behaviour…..just a thought!!

  5. I live in Manchester(Urmston) I have video footage of a delivery he took the parcel out of the van take a photo of the parcel (only small) then put the parcel under his jack and went back to his van I passed this video on to the company involved thay did get the parcel back the same day this is what’s happening in Manchester

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