ESSEX is in the top three police forces for incidences of pram theft, meanwhile more than one million parents have had prams stolen in broad daylight.

With the average cost of a stolen buggy being £487, according to the research, thefts could be costing British parents more than £60 million a year.

A total of 260 parents in Essex reported pram thefts to the police between 2015 and 2018, compared to 269 in West Yorkshire and 518 in Greater Manchester.

Basildon emerged as the hotspot of the county as there were 14 strollers stolen. 

READ MORE: 'OUR HOLIDAY'S OFF THANKS TO PUSHCHAIR THEFT'

The figures were obtained from a Freedom of Information request sent to UK police forces by the price comparison website Confused.com.

Basildon Standard:

A spokesman at Confused.com said: “It’s easy to forget about your valuables when minding a small child, and knowing how to keep a pram secure can be baffling for parents.

"In fact, one in eight (12 per cent) admit they’re confused about the different security options for their pram or pushchair.

“We want parents to protect their prams at all costs, from investing in security locks to ensuring their pram is covered by their insurance.”

Nearly half (48 per cent) of the forces which responded - 31 in total - said pram thefts had either increased or remained the same between 2017 and 2018.

Yet additional research among parents found just a fraction of the total thefts are actually reported to, or recorded by, forces.

READ MORE: CCTV APPEAL LAUNCHED AFTER PRAM STOLEN FROM MOTHERCARE

One in six parents (17 per cent) of children under 12 said they’ve had a pram or buggy stolen.

This is equivalent to an estimated 127,000 thefts a year.

Of these, more than two fifths (42 per cent) didn’t report the incident to the police.

On top of this, a number of other high-value items are stolen too such as mobile phones, handbags, wallets and tablet computers.

Brought to you by Confused.com.

Essex police was made aware of the data.

Parents have been directed to its website where there are tips on keeping your property safe. Click here to visit.

Where is your pram more at risk?

Alarmingly, prams are often stolen in broad daylight and in public spaces.

The most common locations were cafes, public car parks, outside supermarkets and from the owner’s home.

Which brands are most popular with thieves?

The most popular brands targeted by thieves are Mothercare, Silver Cross and Mamas and Papas.