Police forces across the country are experiencing an increase in crimes against courier drivers in the run up to Christmas.
The Institute of Couriers, in partnership with the National Business Crime Centre, has launched a poster campaign providing safety tips to delivery driver in a bid to help them keep themselves and the contents of their vehicles and parcels safe from theft.
Superintendent Patrick Holdaway from the NBBC explains: “This is the busiest time of year for the courier industry and that is attracting more criminals to target the drivers and their vehicles. The crimes range from theft of parcels, to theft of the vehicle and on occasions robbery where the vehicle and its contents are taken by force.
“The police are being proactive in response to the crimes but it is important that couriers report any offences so that the police can build up picture of what is happening and where. We are also appealing to organisations who employ couriers to make them aware of the simple steps they can take to better protect themselves.”
Earlier this week West Midlands Police issued a warning to delivery drivers in the area after two attempted van thefts within the hour. The offenders managed to drive off in one of the vans which was was later found by police abandoned in Wolverhampton.
The poster which can be downloaded from the NBCC website provides ten tips for driver security and the courier and delivery sector are being asked to display the poster on notice boards and make their staff aware.
Be aware of any vehicle following you. If followed, do not exit the vehicle, keep doors locked, keep moving, and call the police.
If something does not look or feel right, do not make the delivery. Stay in your vehicle and report any suspicious activity to the police.
Never leave your engine running or your keys in the ignition when making a drop. Always lock your doors, take your keys with you and remain vigilant when making your delivery.
Be aware of your surroundings and avoid areas that are not well lit. Park under a streetlight if possible and carry a torch to illuminate dark areas and walkways.
Be alert to anyone acting suspiciously in the immediate area of the delivery location.
Ensure your vehicle is working properly.
Fit a tracker on your vehicle and install dashcam.
If you feel threatened, activate the panic alarm on your vehicle or sound your horn to draw attention to the situation and potentially deter the criminals.
Do not flash money during transactions and limit the amount of cash you carry.
If an emergency occurs, remain at the scene only if it is safe and call 999. If it is not safe to remain at the scene call 999 and get to a place of safety.