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Parcel Thief

Porch Piracy: Which UK residents are most likely to experience mail theft?

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

It’s no surprise that many of us have increased our online spending since the pandemic. What’s worrying is the rise in porch thefts that has come with this, as thieves seek to take advantage of more online orders.

We analysed the latest available data from 33 Police Forces across the UK to reveal which residents are most (or least) likely to have their mail stolen from their front door*.

Overall, residents across the UK have reported over 11,000 incidents of mail theft since 2019 and porch theft has increased by 161%.

However, Essex tops the table, with 102 mail thefts per capita. The police in Essex have reported a 418 percent increase in mail theft since 2019 and in the first quarter of this year, residents reported over 240 incidents of doorstep thefts.

Top 10 areas for parcel theft

This may not come as a surprise to the residents of Essex as it’s among the top 20 most dangerous counties in the UK, with an overall crime rate of 81 crimes per 1000 people.

While these figures show that mail theft is increasing, Essex Police have released practical information to help residents avoid being a victim of this crime.

Kent follows in second place, as the area most likely to experience mail theft, with 67 thefts per capita. The county has experienced a 185 percent increase in doorstep thefts since 2019, with 2022 on track to be its worst year yet**.

Parcel Theft per Region

Northamptonshire, Avon and Somerset and Greater Manchester complete the top five areas most likely to experience mail theft with 51, 46 and 40 mail thefts per capita.

At the other end of the scale, Northern Ireland is deemed the safest place for online orders, with only one mail theft per capita. Since 2019, there have been only 26 reports of doorstop thefts in the whole of Northern Ireland.

Least likely areas for parcel theft

Humberside follows closely as the second least-likely area to experience mail theft, with two mail thefts per capita. The northern county has counted a mere 21 porch thefts since 2019.

Surrey (4), Dyfed-Powys (5) and Gwent (6) complete the five areas of the UK with the lowest number of mail thefts per capita.

Most courier company’s basic service classes a parcel as being delivered when recorded as left on a doorstep, so it would be viewed as stolen if it then went missing.

However, there is practical advice to help British consumers reduce the risk of being affected by the growing trend of porch piracy, such as:

  • Track your parcel to ensure you or someone else is at home for the delivery. If you’re not going to be home, arrange for your parcel to be delivered to a trusted neighbour or if possible, rearrange the delivery date to when it best suits you
  • Select a shipping service which requires a signature
  • Install a video doorbell, this can be connected to your mobile, so you’re notified immediately of any delivery
  • Install a lockable package box
  • Use an off-site locker for frequent deliveries or for more expensive items, have them delivered to store

Mike Ryan, our Chief Executive, commented:

There is nothing worse than anticipating a parcel to be delivered, only for the item to be stolen before you can enjoy the contents.

“With the study showing porch theft is rising, it’s important that consumers take appropriate steps to prevent it from happening to them. Should the worse happen, you can report it to the police by calling 101 or contact the sending retailer directly.”


*PACK & SEND contacted 45 police forces for information on the number of mail thefts reported in 2019, 2020, 2021, and quarter one of 2022. 32 forces provided the full data, and Northumbria Police provided data for 2020 – 2022.

This data was used to work out the number of mail thefts per capita (per 100,000 people) in each police area using the latest population data available:

England and Wales:

Northern Ireland:

**PACK & SEND predicted the number of mail thefts for 2022 overall by multiplying the theft figures from quarter one by four.


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