It turns out that a few posties are betraying our trust and Royal Mail is being forced to pay millions in compensation as a result.
Not only that but 1,759 posties have been prosecuted and fired for stealing mail over the past five years and, as the Express points out, that with last year seeing 309 sackings that is one every working day!
Between April last year (the start of the tax year) and January this year Royal Mail had 271,524 complaints about missing parcels and letters. This is a massive increase on the same first nine months of the previous tax year when only 52,484 complaints were received.
Compensation payouts have also increased as a result by 18.6% (£606,860) to £3.86 million.
Sackings reached a peak in 2008 with 401 posties being prosecuted and fired.
The Express says that the increases in complaints and cases of missing mail have come as staff numbers are cut due to people now preferring technology to traditional ‘snail mail’. The number of letters and parcels delivered by Royal Mail has fallen by 25% over those same five years.
Since 2002 Royal Mail has shed 65,000 workers with many more (163,000) facing redundancy as the company moves towards privatisation.
The Chief Executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance said “Royal Mail needs to stamp out the criminal behaviour if it is to be trusted with deliveries. It’s wholly unacceptable that so many Royal Mail staff are rifling through post looking for goodies to swipe.”
And Royal Mail spokesman James Eadie said: “The vast majority of the 163,000 people employed by Royal Mail are scrupulously honest. The overwhelming majority of all letters posted arrive safely at the correct destination.”
Image from: Wikimedia Commons