Before the internet the Royal Mail used to do a roaring trade delivering letters over night anywhere in the country, and within days to anywhere in the rest of the world. Then email came about and a letter became something of an anachronism, the only letters we seem to get regularly are bills and junk mail. Because of the decline in letter sending services were streamlined and rationalised, ie, cuts were made and deliveries suffered. The Post Office was privatised and the delivery service was opened up to tender.
But the internet wasn’t finished in changing the way we live our lives just yet. Online shopping became not just a novelty, but the preferred way to get hold of the things we’d normally have to hunt around the shops for. No more trolling up and down the high street looking for a product which may or may not be in stock. Instead we can now search for an item, order it and know when (roughly) it’s going to be delivered from anywhere at any time. Which naturally meant that the delivery business was going to see a huge increase in business.
So now many of us are having parcels, packages and ‘large letters’ delivered on a regular basis, but if we’re going to be able to afford all those treats we have to go out to work, right? Meaning that we can’t always be in when the delivery arrives. And the upshot of that is “Porch Pirates”, annoying miscreants who patrol around, or simply take the opportunity when they see it, of stealing whatever’s been left on your porch.
Send It Somewhere Else
If you’re not in and it won’t fit through the letterbox, it makes sense to have it sent somewhere else. Simply put a different delivery address from the billing address. If you’re having it sent to a friend or neighbour ask first as people can be very wary of receiving parcels they weren’t expecting. If you’re having it delivered to your work make sure the receptionist knows that you’re expecting something too.
Send It To A Locker
Amazon has introduced a range of lockers in a number of town centres and handy locations where you can arrange to have your goods delivered. They look much like the lockers you’ll find in a gym, and have locks you need a code to open. Amazon send you this code and you simply take it along when your parcel has been delivered and bingo, you can take it away. This is convenient if you happen to pass the locker’s location on a regular basis, but if you have to make a special trip it’s not much different from Click and Collect where you order an item online and if your item isn’t available immediately it will be sent from inventory to your local store so you can collect it in a day or two.
If you have it sent to a locker there is no extra charge for Prime members. You can leave any returns you need to make there too, so it’s handy if you’re having something delivered which you absolutely couldn’t find locally, but if you can, support your local retailer!
If you have the space and you get a lot of deliveries it’s quite possible to set up your own drop-box. All you need is a well built box with a lid and a padlock. Leave the box open when you go out and make sure the delivery instructions are clear: “leave it in the box and ensure the lock is secure before you go.” A smart padlock, called, imaginatively ‘BoxLock’ is available. It can scan the barcode to ensure that the delivery is the package you were expecting and can be opened upon scanning a valid code, meaning that several deliveries can be made and securely locked before you come home.
If you don’t fancy having a box securely attached to your porch the BoxLock could equally be used to secure a shed or garage, meaning that deliveries could be made there instead
If you have a Smart lock or Smart access control you can easily open the door when the package arrives and hope that the delivery agent closes the door properly behind them when they go. Your access control will automatically let you know when someone approaches your door and you will be able to clearly see it’s a delivery. You can then use your app to open the door and the agent simply has to put it inside and pull the door too when they leave.
Keep It Covered By CCTV
If you have smart CCTV security cameras trained on your entrance it would be possible to simply use them to watch over your delivery until you or a neighbour can get over to take the delivery in. If you’ve got a very obvious CCTV deterrent, including stickers in the window, and two way audio that lets you tell any potential porch pirates that they’ve been seen and recorded then it would be a very foolish felon who dared breach your home security to pinch your delivery.
Teach Porch Pirates A Lesson
If you’re so inclined and have the technical abilities there are some fantastic do-it-yourself projects that people have come up with to teach porch pirates a lesson. Our favourite was a farting multicoloured glitter bomb which, deliciously, had cameras installed so that we can all watch what happens when a bad smelling box blasts glitter all over their car or apartment.
Of course it would be nice to live in a society where we could leave your own property outside on by the front door and it still be there when you get home. The various delivery companies need to train their staff better than to leave packages where they can be seen by any passing opportunist and look for a sensible place to leave the delivery. And no, a sensible place doesn’t include recycling or rubbish bins!
If you’re concerned about home security, from seeing comes onto your property, to giving access to the right people and keeping the wrong people out when you can’t get to the door, get in touch with us here at Briant Communications. Call us on 01273 465377 or give us your details on our Contact Us page and we’ll get back to you to book an appointment when you WILL be in for a consultation and free quote.