Parcel thefts across areas such as Leeds Dock, Victoria Riverside and other city centre apartment developments have become a chronic problem for residents the city centre and parts of LS10 and LS11.
Councillors Mohammed Iqbal and Paul Wray (Labour, Hunslet & Riverside) have been working with their Labour counterparts in the neighbouring Beeston & Holbeck, Little London & Woodhouse and Burmantofts & Richmond Hill Wards, and multiple West Yorkshire Police Neighbourhood Policing Teams, on the issue.
Cllr Mohammed Iqbal said:
“The pandemic saw a massive surge in parcel deliveries and many of the apartment blocks built across the city before this were simply not built to handle the volume of deliveries they now have.
“Paul and I, and our counterparts across the city, have seen an ever-increasing number of complaints. We’ve been worked with West Yorkshire Police to address some of these issues – but there are structural issues that need to be addressed to the delivery industry, to planning policy, and to the fact building owners can ignore police recommendations.”
Many self-employed drivers must deliver significant volumes of parcels, in short timescales, to be paid – leading to a number putting speed before ensuring safe delivery, resulting in piles of parcels being left in communal postal areas.
West Yorkshire Police are arresting people involved in the thefts, but the sheer volume suggests many more people are involved than the police manage to apprehend – a task made more difficult by many residents not reporting the thefts and simply ordering a free replacement.
One building operator who has been trying to reduce the issue on their sites said Amazon accepted a loss of up to 10% of parcels according to a conversation they had with them, and they seemed to have little desire to reduce this.
Cllrs Iqbal and Wray have called for the following:
- changes to the law to ensure crime prevention advice given by the police to building owners must be carried out.
- for national and local planning policy to insist on the installation of secure parcel lockers on all new apartment development sites.
- an urgent review at the structure of how self-employed delivery driver’s targets are structured to ensure unreasonable delivery targets do not incentivise poor delivery practices.
They have been working with Leeds Central MP, Hilary Benn, on the issue and he has forwarded these issues on to several government ministers to highlight them and call for action to tackle this nationwide problem.
This post is based on a press release issued by Cllrs Iqbal and Wray.
Photo: A typical lobby area at an apartment block at Leeds Dock. Credit: Jeremy Morton
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