THE theft of parcels across England and Wales has gone up by 17% over the last four years according to the Police.

Cumbria has witnessed a 33% increase in parcel theft from 2016 to 2020.

In 2016/17, the county saw 28 incidents of reported theft, and that increased to 35 from 2019/20.

The figures were obtained by the manufacturers of the Penn Parcel Box, Penn Elcom.

Chairman, Roger Willems said: “Our research shows that thieves are taking advantage of the growth in online shopping and stealing parcels left by couriers on doorsteps when customers are out or unable to get to the door, such as when they’re stuck on a video call.”

Sales and Marketing Director, Rob Platt said: “The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated established changes in consumer behaviour, meaning we can only expect the number of parcel thefts to continue going up.

“With more of us shopping online more often, these figures act as a warning to domestic and business customers to find a secure solution for receiving parcels – rather than providing easy pickings for opportunistic thieves.”

1,011 parcels were reported missing in 2019-20, compared with 861 in 2016-17.

In South Yorkshire, reported parcel thefts more than doubled, and in North Wales thefts rose 88% and in Leicestershire they increased 75%.