BUGGY THEFT ON THE INCREASE IN UK
According to a new survey by confused.com, the price comparison website, more than one million parents have had prams or buggies stolen. Meanwhile, only around 3,000 pram thefts have been officially recorded in the last four years.
One in six parents (17%) of children under 12 said they’ve had a pram or buggy stolen which is equivalent to an estimated 127,000 thefts a year, though according to the research many thefts go unreported or unrecorded by the police.
With the average cost of a stolen buggy being £487, thefts could be costing British parents more than £60m a year!
According to the survey, buggies are often stolen in broad daylight and in public spaces. The most common locations for thefts were cafes, public car parks, outside supermarkets and from the owner’s home.
Designer buggy brands are most at risk. The most popular brands targeted by thieves are Mothercare Silver Cross and Mamas and Papas.
UK hotspots for thefts included Greater Manchester, South and West Yorkshire and Essex.
Paul Baines, an ex -police officer turned inventor of the range of My Buggy Buddy range of pushchair accessories available from www.hippychick.com advises, “Since it’s hard to catch buggy thieves in the act, the best thing parents can do, is to make it a lot more difficult for them.”
1. Lock it up. Get a pram lock and keep it in the buggy at all times. We need to adopt the same mindset with pushchairs as we do with bikes, phones and other expensive items which we’d never expect to leave unattended in a public place. To a thief, buggies represent easy money; they don’t care about the morals of taking a child’s buggy, or how difficult it makes your life. If you can’t lock your pushchair to something, just lock the wheel. This deters the thief because they’ll have to carry the buggy away, which will look odd and attract attention. They will also be much easier to spot on CCTV.
2. Make it stand out. You may not want to permanently decorate your pushchair but tying a balloon or a flag around the handle in a busy place will make it less attractive to thieves and easier to spot, should it go walkabout.
3. Cover it up in the car. Just as you wouldn’t leave a laptop or a phone in full view, your pram needs to be out of sight under the rear shelf. Preferably, don’t leave it in the car at all.
4. The porch is not a safe place. Some chancers regard your front porch as fair game, or where unwanted items are left out, for people to help themselves. To avoid any ‘confusion’ of this kind, take the buggy inside.
5. Leave more time. When you’re in a rush, trying to be on time and not forget anything, it’s easy to pick up your child, ditch the buggy and hope for the best. Arriving a bit earlier and finding a secure place to lock and leave your buggy will really pay off.