Baby pram black market thriving in Britain

2010-11-06 11:31

London – A black market worth an estimated £60 million (R658 million) had sprung up around expensive baby buggies, Halifax Home Insurance said today.Thefts of baby strollers had almost doubled over the past year, it added.

The black market is being fuelled by an increase in the sale of buggies costing more than £500, up 40% in the last year.

As the price of prams had risen, 23% of parents had bought second-hand prams, the insurer said, adding that some families had as many as six.

The number of births is up in Britain, with the UK Office for National Statistics reporting that in 2008, the total fertility rate – the ratio of live births in an area to its population – was at its highest point in 35 years.

Halifax said the top location for stealing prams was from inside the home, at 22%, while 11% of people said their buggy was taken from just outside their property. Car parks, cafes and restaurants were hot spots.

Halifax said the stolen buggies were sold on auction sites for as much as £599, with the top models being Bugaboo Bee Plus, Silver Cross 3D, Quinny Zapp and the Maclaren Techno XT.

David Rochester, head of underwriting at the insurer, said: “We recommend that all new parents make sure buggies are safely secured when stored in the home, and not left visible in porches or driveways where they can be easily stolen as they are on wheels, which enables a quick getaway.”

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