Quadient FOI reveals threat of ‘porch pirates’ over Black Friday and Christmas, as police data shows parcel theft up 300% in last three years

Freedom of Information requests show stolen parcels worth £115 on average – indicating UK faces £630 million hidden economy

London, UK, 22 November 2022:

Technology company Quadient (Euronext Paris: QDT) is warning ’Porch pirates’ will be out in force over Black Friday and Christmas, as a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to UK police showed the number of reported parcel thefts almost quadrupled between 2019 and 2022. The average reported value of a stolen parcel is £115.07, which with Citizens Advice claiming 5.5 million parcels are stolen each year, suggests a hidden economy of up to £630 million.

Just the tip of the iceberg

Police forces warned that just a fraction of parcel theft is reported, meaning nobody knows the true extent of the problem. Comparing data held by the police to Citizens Advice’s figure it appears less than 0.002% of parcel thefts are ever reported.

The requests, made to forces across the UK, revealed most thefts occur in November and December. There has also been a clear year-on-year increase in reported parcel thefts: from an estimated 2,700 nationwide in 2019, to almost 10,500 in 2022 – an increase of 287%.

“Parcel theft is a growing issue in the UK. In the US there is a huge problem with ‘porch pirates’ following delivery trucks around neighbourhoods and stealing parcels, and the police figures indicate criminals in the UK are increasingly recognising the same lucrative opportunity,” said Ian Caminsky, SVP & MD Parcel Locker Solutions UKI, Quadient. “Police forces themselves have stated that the number of reported incidents is just the tip of the iceberg; after all when parcels go missing, many people will often contact retailers and couriers, rather than the police. Yet this means the true scale of the problem facing retailers, couriers and building management remains unknown, meaning it is hard to inspire action. Something needs to change, because at the moment, this lack of understanding is playing into criminals’ hands.”

Additional findings from the FOI included:
  • Criminals ‘working nine to five’: The most common time for thefts to occur was between 9am and 5pm. Forces also reported people aged 22-34 are the most likely to have a parcel stolen, suggesting that many parcels are stolen from young people while they are at work.
  • 300 miles and £1,000+ apart: The highest average value for a stolen parcel was from City of London Police, with £1,128 – almost ten times higher than the UK average. Conversely, Durham Constabulary reported an average of £9.78 – less than a tenth of the UK average, and £1,118.22 lower than City of London.

“Whether thefts are reported to the police or not, insurers, retailers and delivery companies are covering the cost of a huge hidden economy. Ultimately consumers foot the bill for this criminal activity, as the cost will be factored into pricing decisions – businesses need to work together to draw a line in the sand,” continued Ian Caminsky. “There are also more hidden costs to consider – for instance, the loss of trust from residents in apartments or office blocks, and the nagging fear that a much-anticipated Christmas gift or Black Friday bargain will be stolen away. Something has to change: industries and law enforcement need to be able to see the true scale of the problem. And we all need a concerted effort to increase the reliability and safety of parcel deliveries.”


Quadient requested data from all police forces across the UK except for the British Transport Police and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. It received responses from 21, representing a population of 22,730,000 people.

To calculate UK-wide figures, Quadient calculated the total number of thefts per person across this population, then multiplied by the UK population (67,330,000).

12 forces shared data on the value of stolen parcels – to calculate a cost-per-parcel, Quadient divided the total number of thefts across these forces with the total reported value, for an average of £115.07.

Reported thefts year-on-year:
Time period Reported thefts (responding forces) Estimated UK-wide figure
01/08/2021 – 31/07/2022 3,540 10,485
01/08/2020 – 31/07 2021 2,373 7,028
01/08/2019 – 31/07/2020 1,059 3,137
01/08/2018 – 31/07/2019 914 2,707
Reported thefts for 2021-2022:
Time period Reported thefts (responding forces) Estimated UK-wide figure
July 2022 301 892
June 2022 288 740
May 2022 289 856
April 2022 277 820
March 2022 306 906
February 2022 334 989
January 2022 306 906
December 2021 438 1,297
November 2021 364 1,078
October 2021 270 800
September 2021 242 717
August 2021 226 669

About Quadient®

Quadient is the driving force behind the world’s most meaningful customer experiences. By focusing on three key solution areas, Intelligent Communication Automation, Parcel Locker Solutions and Mail-Related Solutions, Quadient helps simplify the connection between people and what matters. Quadient supports hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide in their quest to create relevant, personalised connections and achieve customer experience excellence. Quadient is listed in compartment B of Euronext Paris (QDT) and is part of the SBF 120®, CAC® Mid 60 and EnterNext® Tech 40 indices.

For more information about Quadient, visit

Quadient UK press contact:

Dominic Walsh, Spark Communications +44 (0)20 7436 0420 or