Second postie under investigation

EVIDENCE of more scandal involving Royal Mail emerged today after it was revealed that another postal worker in Ipswich is under investigation for alleged theft.

EVIDENCE of more scandal involving Royal Mail emerged today after it was revealed that another postal worker in Ipswich is under investigation for alleged theft.

The bombshell was dropped just a few weeks after a postman was arrested on suspicion of theft over an incident in which mail had been going missing for the last four years in the Bucklesham Road area of Ipswich.

Following an Evening Star investigation, it can now be revealed that nearly 300 properties could have been affected by that scandal.

And now Royal Mail has said it is carrying out a second probe following separate allegations in a different area of the town.

A spokeswoman said: “We are currently prosecuting an individual who worked in the IP postcode area until August.

“All affected customers were contacted in late summer with a letter of explanation and apology.”

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She would or could not give any further details because of the investigation.

As highlighted in The Evening Star in November, residents in the Bucklesham Road and Purdis Lane Farm areas were astonished to discover their mail had gone missing for years.

Data gained from a Freedom of Information request has revealed that 284 addresses may have been affected.

In the request, Royal Mail stated that 18 complaints out of the 46 received by the company from the Purdis Farm Lane and Bucklesham Road area in the last four years related to possible loss of mail.

It was also revealed that there have been further investigations of Royal Mail delivery employees for theft or similar offences in Ipswich within the last year.

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: “We seek to fully address and concerns raised with us by customers and take appropriate action.

“Royal Mail takes the problem of theft very seriously and has invested heavily over many years to protect the security of mail. As the vast majority of all mail arrives safely at its correct destination only a tiny fraction is affected by theft, but in each incident we work closely with police to investigate and prosecute offenders and to ensure that all possible measures are being taken to prevent future attacks on the mail.

“Royal Mail's policy towards any form of dishonesty or wrong-doing is very simple - we have a zero tolerance approach - and when there is sufficient evidence we seek to bring offenders before the courts.”

A 36-year-old postman, who was arrested on suspicion of theft, has been re-bailed pending further enquiries to February 17.

POLICE have interviewed suspects in 71 cases of mail theft in Suffolk over the last five years.

Of the 71 cases, those questioned would have been charged, cautioned or release with no further action, a spokeswoman for Suffolk police said.

The figures were released under the Freedom of Information Act after a request from The Evening Star.

But Suffolk police were not able to reveal whether any of those cases involved the arrest or charging of Royal Mail employees.

The revelation comes as it was discovered that police had investigated 533 incidents of post theft in Suffolk during that time.

Of those, 105 were found to involve no crime (i.e. mislaid mail), 45 were transferred to other forces for geographical reasons and 312 remain undetected.

They also show that officers have looked into ten incidents of theft of mail in Ipswich this year, although a police spokeswoman said they were not involved with the current Royal Mail investigations.

Number of offences of theft of mail, fraudulent retention of mail and other mail offences reported to Suffolk

Constabulary in each year from January 1, 2003 to September 30, 2008.

Theft of mail Ipswich Suffolk

2003 25 77

2004 48 147

2005 37 125

2006 32 86

2007 26 62

2008 10 33

Fraudulent retention of mail Suffolk

2004 2

2005 1