London police encourage use of parcel shops / lockers to reduce theft

Police in west London issued a warning this week in response to reports of thefts of parcels from doorsteps. It encourages use of parcel shops or lockers to reduce the theft risk:

“Please be vigilant a number of parcels are being stolen from door steps in the Northfields area. If you are ordering goods from the internet please consider using your nearest hub to collect rather than risk leaving delivered goods on your doorstep.”

Meanwhile, in the US, sting operations have been run in conjunction with Amazon in Jersey City. Here, fake Amazon packages have had special GPS trackers fitted and secret cameras installed in doorbells of certain addresses in an attempt to catch thieves in the act.

Amazon has not made any comment on the operation. However, press reports suggest that 26 million US households (1 in 12) have had parcels stolen from their doorsteps in recent years.

Speaking of the operation, Jersey City Police Chief Michael Kelly said the locations for cameras and boxes were selected using the city’s own crime statistics and mapping of theft locations provided by Amazon. “Most of the package thefts we’ve made arrests on revolve around (closed-circuit TV) or private surveillance cameras that give us a still image,” Kelly said.

“With the bait packages, some will be under video surveillance, and some will have GPS.”